SHANGHAI, April 23 (Reuters) – China’s environment ministry reprimanded provincial officials in Shandong, the country’s biggest aluminium producing province, for failing to comply with policies to cut coal consumption and curb the growth of highly polluting aluminium output.
Shandong has been a key part of China’s efforts to curb pollution in the industrial north, but it has struggled to find cleaner forms of growth.
Seven of the province’s cities were set targets to cut smog over the winter, but only one – Jining – managed to do so.
In a review of the compliance record of eight regions published late on Monday, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment said Shandong officials not only failed to meet guidelines on industrial overcapacity, but also deceived central government inspectors and tried to cover up illegal behaviour.
Shandong was ordered to cap total aluminium production capacity at 4 million tonnes in 2017, but the province’s “choices” and policy “adaptations” enabled the industry to expand out of control, with total capacity soaring to as much as 12.6 million tonnes, the ministry said in a statement.
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