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Beijing puts steel mills on ice

Beijing puts steel mills on ice

Beijing: Chinese steel mills are cutting production in response to electricity shortages that are currently plaguing the country, according to Steel Business Breifing. Freezing weather conditions have increased demand for coal and the government is slowing manufacturing activity to ensure sufficient power is available for domestic heating and essential services.
China's state-owned power company, the State Grid, has asked several mills to cut their power consumption. At Ningbo Steel in eastern China's Zhejiang province an electricity pylon collapsed on 28 January, and the mill is currently without power.
China's largest electric steelmaker, Shagang in eastern Jiangsu province, closed two 100t EAFs and will perform maintenance until after the Spring Festival. Rebar and wire rod rolling facilities have been closed too.
In southern China, weather conditions have not been as harsh, but Kunming Steel says it is running seriously low on raw materials. Transport bottlenecks have intensified due to a combination of heavy snows, higher oil prices and government inspections over truck load sizes. And this problem will only worsen as rail freight shipments are delayed while stretched rail networks are used for carrying passengers during the busy Spring Festival period.
Laiwu Steel in eastern China's Shandong province has also been asked to reduce its energy consumption. "The whole city must cut 200,000kWh, and we're expected to contribute half of this saving," says a Laiwu Steel official. [30/01/08]


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