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China's steel heartland tests mills' mettle with new smog-busting plan


Workers walk in front of the Hebei Zongheng Iron and Steel plant that is under construction at the Tangshan Fengnan Economic Development Zone, Hebei province, China, August 22, 2018. Picture taken August 22, 2018. - Reuters

Workers walk in front of the Hebei Zongheng Iron and Steel plant that is under construction at the Tangshan Fengnan Economic Development Zone, Hebei province, China, August 22, 2018. Picture taken August 22, 2018. - Reuters

TANGSHAN, China: "Push the steel mills out of the city centre and turn it into a modern, habitable place to live in," reads a banner hung across the boarded-up offices of Guofeng Iron and Steel Co in the centre of Tangshan, China's top steelmaking city.

Behind the gates of the factory, surrounded by a hospital, a shopping mall and high-rise apartment blocks, workers and bulldozers were busy on a recent visit tearing down furnaces as part of a 38 billion yuan ($5.5 billion) plan to move to a new industrial park 60 kilometres (37 miles) away.

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