BEIJING – China increased its steel production capacity in 2016 despite the government closing down plants to check excessive capacity in the sector, a Greenpeace report revealed on Monday.
Last year, China had announced a plan to reduce its annual steel production capacity by around 100 to 150 million tons by 2020, but according to research conducted by Greenpeace and the consultancy Custeel – associated with China Iron and Steel Association – annual steel production capacity, in fact, increased by 36.5 million tons.
Out of a total of 85 million tons of the annual capacity cut down by China in 2016, only 23 million tons were operating, according to Greenpeace.
In 2016, China added another 49 million tons of steel production by resuming plants that were shut down earlier, while 12 million came from new projects despite a ban on it as per last year’s plan, the report said.
Greenpeace added that 80% of the increase in capacity took place in regions surrounding Beijing, which are currently among the most polluted regions in the country.
According to Greenpeace, “increasing steel capacity makes neither economic nor environmental sense,” given the global crisis in the sector and severe air pollution in China.