Since February 2005, when Bei-jing's Shougang (Capital Iron andSteel) Group announced plans todecrease steel and iron productionand finally relocate all the relevant opera-tions out. of the original base in the Shijing-shan District, the public has kept a closewatch on the process. Particularly the focusof attention was the expected shutdown ofthe No. Five Blast Furnace. A local TV newsteam thought it a historic event and rushedto the site, but the Shougang representativesreceiving the joumalists informed them that,in fact, Shougang would not totally relocatefrom Beijing. Quite the contrary.
In compliance with a directive, issuedby the State Council, to meet the require-ments of city development plans and to re-structure China's steel industry, ShougangGroup will scale back output in Beijing instages, while developing a Beijing head-quarters economy. That is expected to in-clude research and development systems,non-steel industries and environmentally-friendly production during the 1 lth Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010). Meanwhile,with the aim of establishing a large and ad-vanced steel production enterprise in Cao-feidian, Tangshan City, Hebei Province,Shougang will cooperate in a joint venturewith Tangshan Steel Group.
In early June, this writer visited thenew site of Shougang in Caofeidian andthe group's headquarters in the ShijingshanDistrict of Beijing. According to ZhangWenzhe, Shougang's secretary of commu-nications, the move does not mean that allthe production machinery will be disassem-bled, relocated and then reinstalled. Rather,the aim of the process is to gradually reduceoutput in Beijing while constructing a newfactory in Caofeidian. Among the 82,000employees of the group, 7,000 will be suf-ficient to meet production demands at thenew factory. Most will live in Beijing andwork in Caofeidian during production days.
In the course of its 88-year history, theShougang Group evolved into a cross-re-gional, transnational large-scale enterprisegroup mainly dealing in iron and steelmaking, but also in mining, machinery,electronics, construction, real estate, ser-vice and overseas business. The enterpriseowns four listed companies in Hong Kong,as well as overseas concerns like ShougangHierro Peru S.A.A. in South America. In2006, Shougang realized sales revenuesof 87.4 billion yuan. Besides a primaryfocus on steel production, mining and themanufacturing of machinery, the group isinvolved in non-steel industries, includingthe production of high-tech goods. Notablythrough its Shougang NEC Electronics Co.,Ltd., varied high-tech products have beeninstalled at the Great Hall of the People andin some 2008 Olympic venues.