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Hebei to close 2,500 brick kilns to cut pollution


Updated: 2015-03-12 19:41:34


SHIJIAZHUANG - Northern China's Hebei province will close all 2,500 solid brick-tile kilns within one year as part of its effort to cut pollution, said the provincial government on Thursday.

Authorities dismantled the first batch of 62 kilns across 11 cities on Thursday. The move is expected to save 90,000 tonnes of coal and reduce emissions by 11,000 tonnes of dust, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides per year.

The closure of kilns are one of the measures Hebei is using to cut coal consumption and pollution. New building materials, such as air bricks will replace the old solid bricks.

Solid brick kilns waste resources, destroy croplands and cause serious pollution because of their direct emissions, a provincial official said.

A total of 2,500 solid brick-tile factories in Hebei produce 12 billion bricks each year, but consume 2.2 million tonnes of coal and discharge 250,000 tonnes of pollutants.

Hebei, which neighbors Beijing and the northern port city of Tianjin, is often blamed for the notorious choking smog that often seeps into neighboring regions due to its heavy industry.

The province is taking steps toward limiting the excessive number of iron and steel, glass, and concrete factories to reduce pollution.

In 2014, Hebei cut coal consumption by 15 million tonnes, the first time that coal consumption in the province dropped year on year.

Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei will see coal consumption reduced by 13 million tonnes, 10 million tonnes, and 40 million tonnes from their 2012 levels respectively by 2017, said the National Development and Reform Commission in January.