Liaoyang, a landlocked city in northeast China's Liaoning province, is stepping up its efforts to become a world-class center for petroleum and chemical production in the near future.
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), which concluded on Tuesday, Tang Zhiguo, an NPC deputy and mayor of Liaoyang, said that the city has highlighted the development of the petrochemical industry as a "breakthrough" for its economic growth.
"We will firmly seize the development advantages of the city cluster in the central part of the province in the 'Five Points along One Line' development strategy of Liaoning," Tang said.
The "Five Points along One Line" plan aims to develop five industrial areas and one road to connect the coastal cities in the province. Tang said that the city will lend "full support to backbone projects" in "four key industries" in the future.
"There will be a leap in development of Liaoyang in five years," he said.
The landlocked city suffered from sluggish development in recent years due to its geographic disadvantages.
The province's decision to include the city in its strategic planning has given a boost to Liaoyang, Tang said.
The city has mapped up a plan to build a world-class production center in 10 years for the hydrocarbon resource arene that is widely used in the chemical industry.
An environment impact evaluation and land acquisition for the planned arene center have been finished and construction of roads and networks to deliver electricity and gas supplies is underway, Tang said.
A 1.4 million ton petrochemical project by the Liaoyang Petroleum and Chemical Co Ltd is also in the pipeline as part of the priority of the government's work this year, he added.
The city has also strengthened research for products related to arene and is working to attract more investment.
By the end of the 11th Five-year Plan (2006-10), Liaoyang is expected to conclude the 20 billion yuan construction of a 15 sq km arene site that is projected to have an annual production output valued at 60 billion yuan, Tang said.
"Then, an industrial cluster including fine chemical products, synthetic fibers and new chemical materials will take shape in Liaoyang," he said.
And a mid-term plan is to double the production value of the base by the year 2015, which will make it the country's biggest producer of arene.
While focusing the development of the petrochemical industry, the city will also take measures to improve its environment.
The city has vowed to get tough with a timetable to overhaul its cement industry, which once thrived in the city.
"Backward cement technology and obsolete equipment will be eliminated and plants failing to pass environment protection inspection will be shuttered," he said.
(China Daily March 20, 2008)