2,000 polluting factories shut down

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 February, 2007, 12:00am

More than 2,000 polluting factories were closed down in Guangdong last year, authorities said yesterday, adding there was no way any pollution-generating enterprise could relocate to other parts of the province.

Li Qing , director-general of the Environmental Protection Bureau of Guangdong, told a news conference yesterday that the government inspected 150,000 polluting factories last year and closed down 2,100 of them. Two people were jailed.

'I do not have the list of these factories right now, but I am sure some of them are from Hong Kong,' Mr Li said. 'The environment protection standards are fair to all, no matter whether you are Chinese or from overseas, and no matter if you are local or from Hong Kong.'

Other officials at the news conference said Guangdong's industrial restructuring would improve its environment and that it was impossible for polluting factories to move to mountainous areas or rural areas in the province to escape strict emission rules.

Chen Shanru , director of the Guangdong Development and Reform Commission, said: 'There is no room to negotiate for those polluting industries which are not allowed to continue.'

Anthony Ma, deputy general manager of Productivity (Dongguan) Consulting, said polluting Hong Kong enterprises had to change their manufacturing processes. That was possibly the only way for them to stay in Guangdong or even on the mainland.

'The government will control the pollution discharge amount more seriously than before,' said Mr Ma, adding that relocating a business was not a solution.