Anshan Iron and Steel Group (Ansteel), the Chinese steel giant, has started to dismantle six of its outdated coking furnaces to meet with modern pollution standards, according to media reports.

The furnaces – four 4m high units and two 5m high units – had a total production capacity of 1.3Mt/yr.

Ansteel was blacklisted by China's Ministry of Environmental Protection in July after failing to dismantle its outdated facilities and discharging excessive pollutants. The company has been under significant pressure since then to improve its reputation.

The plan is to replace the six coking furnaces – which were originally installed in the 1980s – with two low-emission models.

Ansteel promised to invest 7.1 billion yuan (US$1.16 billion) between 2013 and 2015 on 68 pollution reduction programmes. The removal of its six outdated coking furnaces could reduce 1,600 tons of smoke and dust, 170 tons of sulfur dioxide and 600 tons of nitric oxide annually.

Ansteel, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, turned in a profit of 577 yuan (US$94 million) for H1 2014 and sales revenues of 38.2 yuan (US$ 6.2 million) according to its interim report published last month.

Source: China Metals.