Xinjiang shuts polluting plant

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 June, 1997, 12:00am

Xinjiang has shut a major petrochemical plant in Karamay for causing serious pollution and suffering heavy financial losses.

Built in 1989 at a cost of more than 100 million yuan (HK$93.4 million), the plant was recently closed by Xinjiang and Karamay authorities, the China News Service reported yesterday.

It did not say how many workers were affected, but claimed more than 200 had been offered job retraining, adding the remainder would be 'settled properly'.

The report said the Karamay Petrochemical Plant, in northwestern Xinjiang region, went into operation without the approval of the environmental protection authorities.

Nor was it equipped with the required pollution treatment facilities when it went into operation eight years ago, the report added.

Every day the plant discharged more than 3,400 cubic metres of unprocessed waste water with a high concentration of chloride chemicals, the news service said.

In addition to pollution, the factory also had a bad record of heavy financial losses.

Last year, it lost more than 30 million yuan.

The report did not say if any factory managers or government officials were being held responsible for the shutdown.

Beijing has launched a crackdown on serious polluters in the past year, resulting in the closures of hundreds of paper mills and chemical factories along the Huai River in central China.