BEIJING Chinese steelmakers could face further financial
pressure after the countrys Ministry of Environmental
Protection said it would impose new emissions rules on new
steel mills as early as March 1.
This comes after the government imposed fresh pollution
standards last October. The latest action is thought to have
been inspired by the rash of urban fog problems that hit
Chinese cities this winter.
The new rules, which also apply to five other heavily polluting
industries, such as power generation, will come into force over
the next three years in 47 major-city metropolitan areas, such
as Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, the ministry said.
New steel projects will be subject to new emission
standards from March 1, it added.
Existing plants will become subject to restrictions imposed
starting Jan. 1, 2015, with a special focus on those with
sintered steelmaking operations, the agency said.
The ministry said it would take strict measures to
control levels of atmospheric pollutants, particularly emission
limits. The decision follows a meeting of the
ministrys executive convened by its minister Zhou
However, the ministry has yet to release the details of the new
pollution standards as far as the steel sector is concerned.
They are expected to be out soon.
The rules in force from Oct. 1 stipulate that powder dust
emissions, sulfur dioxide emissions and water consumption per
tonne of steel produced shouldnt exceed 1.19 kilograms,
1.63 kg and 4.1 cubic meters, respectively.
Meanwhile, the ministry said China must upgrade its industrial
equipment to counter the unprecedented environmental
challenges it faces over the next five years as it deals
with rising auto sales, rapid industrialization and higher
Earlier this month, the countrys 80 largest steelmakers
reported that the combined industry after-tax profit fell more
than 98 percent to just 1.58 billion yuan ($251 million),
largely as a result of overcapacity and a sluggish domestic
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.