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Steel plant given go-ahead
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Wuhan Iron & Steel Group, China's fifth-biggest steel maker, has won regulatory approval from the central government to start preparations on a 10-million-ton plant in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, a partner in the venture said.

The Fangcheng Port project was given the go-ahead by the National Development and Reform Commission, Liuzhou Iron & Steel Co said in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange, without giving details.

The commission is China's top economic planner.

The government has been reining in expansion of steel capacity since 2004, and won't approve new plants unless older ones are closed. The Guangxi autonomous region and Wuhan Steel must shut 9.1 million tons of capacity to be permitted to build the new plant, the commission said.

Wuhan Steel agreed to pay 6.5 billion yuan (US$921 million) for 51 percent of state-owned Liuzhou Iron & Steel Group, Liuzhou Iron & Steel Co's parent, in December 2005 as a prelude to building the new plant.

The commission also approved a plan by Baosteel Group Corp, the nation's biggest producer, for a 10-million-ton plant at Zhanjiang in Guangdong Province.

(Shanghai Daily March 25, 2008)

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