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Beijing to Preserve Industrial Legacy on Old Steelmaker Site
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The landmark buildings and industrial facilities of Shougang Group, a major Chinese steel producer, will be preserved and molded into a "post-industrial culture creation zone" after its relocation to neighboring Hebei Province, the municipal planning committee said Friday.

Beijing's planning body has finished compiling a "renovation and transformation plan" for Shougang, formally known as the Beijing Capital Iron and Steel Group is often referred to, saying the old site will serve as a recreational center where people can trace the history of the capital's industrial development.

Beijingers have mixed feelings about Shougang. On the one hand, they are glad to see one of the city's worst polluters relocate. On the other, "old Beijingers are reluctant to lose the memory of Shougang. It is a precious industrial legacy for Beijing," said an official with the planning committee, who declined to be named.

According to the plan, Shougang's old site will blend in with Beijing's urban development to create a "Central Recreation District (CRD)" in the western district of Shijingshan.

Company president Zhu Jimin told Xinhua earlier that part of the plan is to build an industrial museum there.

However, given the duration of the project, construction plans may be altered to meet Beijing's new needs.

Shougang, built in 1919 and located 17 kilometers west of Tian'anmen Square, is building a new plant in Caofeidian, a small sand spit in Hebei Province 220 kilometers east of Beijing. The relocation will be completed by 2010.

For years one of the city's worst polluters, Shougang will cut production at its Beijing plant by 4 million tons this year and an additional 4 million tons in 2008.

Zhu said Shougang would "maintain minimum operations" during the 2008 Olympic Games with production of 4 million tons.

By 2010 all Shougang's steel production will have been transferred to its new Hebei site.

The new plant will adopt environment-friendly technologies to minimize emission and waste discharge. An evaluation by the country's environment watchdog shows the new plant will ensure 99.5 percent of the solid waste and 97.5 percent of waste water are recycled.

Shougang produced 12.5 million tons of steel last year, earning revenue of 87 billion yuan (US$11 billion).

(Xinhua News Agency April 9, 2007)

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