US announces $29m contract to begin next stage of dioxin clean-up

December 20, 2022 - 12:51
Under the contract, VINA E&C will complete the excavation of contaminated soil on the air base and prepare it for treatment.
Excavation, dewatering and drainage, stockpile, transport for low concentration soil done by VINA E&C Investment and Construction JSC. — Photo from VINA E&C Investment and Construction JSC

HÀ NỘI — The United States Mission to Việt Nam, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), on Tuesday announced a new contract worth approximately US$29 million to clean up dioxin contamination at Biên Hoà Air Base in the southern province of Đồng Nai.

USAID issued the four-year contract for civil works to Vietnamese firm VINA E&C Investment and Construction JSC (VINA E&C).

VINA E&C will complete the excavation of contaminated soil on the air base and prepare it for treatment.

“This announcement represents the United States’ commitment to our partnership with Việt Nam,” said Aler Grubbs, USAID/Việt Nam Mission Director.

“This contract will complete critical preparatory work, paving the way for the treatment phase of the project. This marks the largest contract yet by USAID to a local Vietnamese organisation, as we make a concerted effort to build Vietnamese expertise in this nascent area of environmental health and safety.”

Vũ Văn Liêm, General Director of VINA E&C, said: “It is an honour to be selected to lead the next phase of the joint cooperative project between the US and Việt Nam governments to remediate dioxin at Biên Hòa Air Base.

“This contract is a great opportunity for VINA to continue achieving project progress. We look forward to applying our specialised expertise to meet the project’s high safety and health requirements and technical specifications, and contribute to the overall success of the project.”

USAID is working with Việt Nam’s Ministry of National Defence to remediate approximately 500,000 cu.m of dioxin-contaminated soil and sediment on and around the Biên Hoà Air Base.

USAID previously completed the clean-up of dioxin contamination at Đà Nẵng Airport in 2018. The Biên Hoà clean-up effort involves nearly four times the volume of soil as the Đà Nẵng Airport clean-up. USAID and MND launched the Biên Hoà project in April 2019. In June 2022, USAID completed the remediation of the first parcel of land—a community lake located outside of Gate 2.

The whole project is expected to take the Vietnamese defence ministry and US Government 10 years and cost an estimated $450 million. The U.S. Government’s contribution to date is $163.25 million out of a total expected contribution of $300 million.

In 2023, the United States and Việt Nam will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their Comprehensive Partnership. The close cooperation over the past decades to overcome legacies of war is yet another example of how the US and Việt Nam work strategically together to create a better future for the two countries' peoples. — VNS