The plan to ensure adequate air quality for the Olympic Games envisages a significant reduction in metallurgical production in Hebei province, which from an economic point of view is the metallurgical center of China and geographically (excluding the sea) the Chinese capital. It will also be one of the main arenas for the Games.
The Olympics will take place in February next year. Production cuts at smelters have already begun – production in Tangshan, located about 150 kilometers from Beijing, is to be cut by 12.37 million tonnes. Next year, various elements of the plan will run from January to March.
The fact that Beijing is surrounded by a chain of steel mills in Hebei province has a very negative impact on the already poor air quality in the Chinese capital. This is likely one of the reasons Beijing also recently started talking about reducing emissions from smelting. It happens that for large events, production goes from top to bottom. This was also the case at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Restrictions are also introduced in winter, when increased emissions from heating increase the risk of smog.
Tangshan, home to many heavy industries, has long been one of the most polluted cities in China, and local authorities are trying to take measures to reduce air pollution. During periods of greatest air pollution, some manufacturing plants in the region, including steel and cement plants, have been ordered to suspend or restrict production. The goal is to reduce pollutants, especially sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, by 50%.