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MONRE investigates Formosa

Update: November, 12/2016 - 09:52
A view of Taiwan-invested Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Company. – Photo laodong.com.vn

HÀ NỘI – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) reported the results of an investigation into Taiwan-invested Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh Steel Company’s efforts to deal with the environmental incident it caused in four central provinces.

According to the MONRE report released on Thursday, Formosa distributed US$500 million to the Vietnamese government. The company has implemented temporary and long-term measures as required by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Trần Hồng Hà in production technology transformation.

Formosa has constructed nine liquid waste systems for its cast iron and steel complex. Treatment stations for domestic, bio-chemical and industrial liquid waste and air treatment system are also operating up to technical standards, the MONRE said.

To improve Formosa’s capacity to deal with environmental incidents, Minister Trần Hồng Hà asked the company to work with scientific and technological agencies and domestic and foreign experts to upgrade environment protection infrastructure and finish the upgrades before March 31 next year.

According to the MONRE, Formosa is applying wet coke quenching technology instead of coke drying quenching (CDQ) as required.

To fulfill its pledge with the Vietnamese Government, the MONRE said that Formosa would transform technology from wet method to dry from March 31 next year and cease using the CDQ system by June 30, 2019.

Formosa will also study clean technologies for production, especially in its power plants.

According to the MONRE report, Formosa has stopped transferring nontoxic and toxic solid waste to unauthorised units for treatment.

However, the company still stores about 711.5 tonnes of toxic mud. The amount rises by 97 tonnes per month. Part of this mud has been moved to Hà Tĩnh Industrial Waste Processing Limited Company for transport and treatment.

Up to October 29, 125 tonnes of bio-chemical waste mud was transferred.

The MONRE assigned the Việt Nam General Administration of Environment, Hà Tĩnh Province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Hà Tĩnh economic zone management board to inspect the company’s environmental protection efforts.

Centres of Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality and Việt Nam General Administration of Environment will take samples of the waste.

The MONRE will consider allowing Formosa to resume operations only when it finishes waste treatment supervision.

Earlier in June, Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Hà Tĩnh accepted responsibility for causing an environmental disaster in the central Việt Nam, which caused mass fish deaths in four provinces of Hà Tĩnh, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Quảng Trị, Quảng Bình.

Formosa pledged to deal with shortcomings in waste and wastewater treatment, improve its production technologies to ensure waste is completely treated before being discharged, and not to repeat such an incident. - VNS

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