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Tangshan: 'Steel city' forging an innovative model

Tangshan: 'Steel city' forging an innovative model

Host city of the Caofeidian Forum, industrialized Tangshan, was long known for coal mining, iron and steel, but today it is moving away from the traditional resource-based economy to a new model for sustained growth.

"In pursuit of sustained development and new industrialization, we are changing the development pattern, upgrading industries and focusing more on construction of an eco-friendly, modern city," said Zhao Yong, Party chief of the city commission.

Local authorities have decided to extend and improve the city's industrial chain in seven of its sectors - steel, machines and equipment manufacturing, chemicals, modern agriculture, service, hi-tech and environment protection - to promote efficient use of resources as it secures additional investment and regional cooperation.

"In this way, our city will realize industrial restructuring and integration and help develop a number of local companies with an edge in the international market," Zhao added.

President Hu Jintao praised the efforts by local authorities during an inspection tour in Tangshan in 2006 and proposed building the city into a model of scientific development.

Encouraged by Hu's remarks, the city government launched a three-year campaign for efficient use of resources and reducing emissions.

The campaign covers 10 key industries, including steel and iron. Tangshan is the biggest steel maker in Hebei, a province that tops the nation in annual steel output.

More than 1,000 high energy consuming and polluting enterprises have now been shuttered and nearly 4,600 companies have been requested to improve industrial pollution control over the past three years.

Heavy industry contributes 93 percent of added industrial value to the city - typically relying on enormous amounts of energy - contributing one-fifth of Hebei's GDP, but also consuming one-third of the province's energy.

In early 2008, the city government announced a policy requesting designated heavy energy consuming enterprises - well its counties and districts - meet emission standards within three years.

If they fail to meet standards, county or district leaders will be asked to step down, while heads of non-compliant State-owned companies will be removed and private companies will be forced to suspend operations.

In addition to enhancing pollution control at existing companies, the authorities have also taken the environment into consideration in securing and selecting new investment projects.

Last year alone, more than 60 projects were rejected for not meeting environmental standards.

Authorities of Caofeidian, a new district and a burgeoning economic hub of the city, refused projects worth more than 10 billion yuan in total.

The strict screening procedure in selecting projects ensures a high-quality investment environment. As a result, more quality projects have attracted to the city.

Since 2006, about 160 key projects have been built, with a total investment of 153.5 billion yuan, spurring continued growth of local economy.

The city's GDP jumped from 236.2 billion yuan in 2006 to 356.1 billion yuan last year.

Tangshan: 'Steel city' forging an innovative model


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