China orders closure of 12 plants for pollution

China has ordered a dozen heavy industrial plants to shut down for failing to meet pollution standards and told another 70 to comply with the rules, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The plants represented combined investment of 2 billion yuan (US$258 million), said Reuters, citing the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) website.

They include a metallurgy company in Inner Mongolia, four steel makers in Jiangsu and Hebei and a charcoal plant in Shandong.

"Projects that seriously violate the state’s industrial policies and environmental protection thresholds must be immediately and permanently closed down," SEPA vice head Pan Yue was quoted as saying.

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