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China’s steelmaking capacity ‘increased’ in 2016

China – Despite having exceeded its capacity cutting targets for 2016, China’s steel industry recorded a net increase in its operating capacity last year, according to an analysis commissioned by Greenpeace East Asia. ‘Restarted and new capacity more than offset cuts in operating capacity, leaving the industry with a net increase in operating capacity of 36.5 million tonnes,’ it is contended.

Of the 85 million tonnes of steel capacity cut last year, a nationwide average of 73% was already idle or non-operating; only 23 million tonnes of the cut capacity was operating. In the same year, it is alleged, 54 million tonnes of operating capacity restarted and an additional 12 million tonnes of new operating capacity came online.

The research was conducted by Custeel, a Chinese metallurgical industry consultancy and information platform.

Greenpeace is calling on the Chinese government to increase capacity reduction targets in order to make up for the effect of factory restarts and new capacity coming online. ‘Capacity cut targets must be revised to ensure genuine reductions in operating capacity,’ comments Greenpeace campaigner Lauri Myllyvirta. ‘Cutting already-idle capacity is not enough to win the battle to tame the steel industry and the central government’s much-touted ”war on air pollution”.’

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