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Cement Plant Moved to Secure Good Air Quality in Tibet
Gaotian Cement Plant, one of the main polluters in Tibet, has been moved into a deep valley 30 km from the sacred city of Lhasa to ensure it has as little impact as possible on the overall air quality of the autonomous region.

Due to outdated production technology and incompetent management, the plant formerly situated on the outskirts of Lhasa, kept discharging dust into the air.

Xu Mingyang, vice-chairman of the Tibet autonomous regional government, said on the weekend that it was an urgency and a must to eliminate pollutant-makers in Tibet for defending the region's fame as "the only sacred land in the world."

Thus far, eight cement plants have been closed down.

However, given a hundred construction programs, including the Qinghai-Tibet Railway project have been launched, the annual market demand for cement products in Tibet would amount to more than 200,000 tons.

"As it is impossible to purchase all the cement needed from the interior areas, we have to build a highly productive but pollutant-free plant in Tibet," Xu said.

Technically supported by the Tianjin Cement Designing Research Institute, the Gaotian Cement Plant abandoned its previous production line and developed a new one in Doilungdeqen county which is far from the residential community and enclosed by hills.

With a budget investment of approximately 520 million yuan (US$62.65 million), the new production line, the largest of its kind in Tibet, is expected to go into production this October.

Upon its completion, it will have a maximum annual output of 600,000 tons.

(Xinhua News Agency April 21, 2003)

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