BEIJING, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's annual consumption of crude steel is expected to reach 750 million tonnes by 2015, according to the industry's five-year plan issued Monday.
Annual demand for crude steel will peak between 770 million tonnes and 820 million tonnes from 2015 to 2020, according to a plan posted on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's website.
China's steel sector will face challenges as a result of mounting mineral prices, slowing demand and rising environmental pressure in the next five years, the plan said, adding that the whole industry will experience low growth and low profits.
The steel sector will step up industrial consolidation and intensify its concentration, with the top 10 steel firms accounting for 60 percent of the country's total steel output by 2015, up from 48.6 percent in 2010, according to the plan.
No new steel production facilities will be developed in the Bohai and Yangtze River Delta regions, according to the plan.
China will accelerate its efforts to phase out outdated facilities and urge steel firms to adopt upgraded technology and facilities to reduce pollution, according to the plan.
The government will encourage steelmakers to open factories and participate in mergers and acquisitions abroad to increase their international competitiveness.
China will also work to secure mineral resources by adding an overseas production capacity of more than 100 million tonnes of iron ore by 2015, the plan said.