China's coal-rich Shanxi orders water curbs for steel, cement, aluminum production

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s central Shanxi province has introduced new rules curbing water use for steel, cement and aluminum production, state media reported on Sunday, in another blow to sectors reeling from government-enforced output cuts.

Under the new policy, producers of steel, cement and aluminum which exceed mandatory water usage standards will have to pay incremental levies, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing Shanxi’s Development and Reform Commission.

The levies, which came into effect last Friday, range from doubling the cost of water if usage exceeds standards by less than 20 percent, to five times the cost and the potential cutting off of water supply in cases where usage standards are exceeded by more than 60 percent.

China has ordered steel and aluminum producers in 28 cities to slash output during winter as part of the country’s war against winter smog.

Coal-rich Shanxi has vowed to cut its hazardous pollutant PM 2.5 concentration by 40 percent from October to March.

Reporting by Philip Wen; Editing by Michael Perry