Viet Nam News
Đà Nẵng — The central city of Đà Nẵng is worried that its main source of fresh water will be polluted if a steel factory in Quảng Nam Province is relocated to the banks of the Vu Gia-Thu Bồn River.
The Đà Nẵng administration has expressed its fears to the provincial authorities and asked for a proper environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the relocation project.
Officials of the centrally-administered city said the river provides 99 per cent (250,000 cubic metres) of its daily fresh water use.
Vice Chairman of Quảng Nam Province’s People’s Committee, Huỳnh Khánh Toàn, has said that the factory, which was built in Điện Bàn Town in 2009, has to be relocated to the mountainous district of Nam Giang because it was causing severe dust, air and noise pollution in residential areas in and around the town.
The province has allotted 17.3ha in Hoa Village, Thạnh Mỹ Town for the Việt-Pháp Steel Co’s new steel rolling mill and refinery. The new factory, expected to cost VNĐ975 billion (US$43.3 million), would be located far away from residential areas, he said.
A section of Vu Gia-Thu Bồn river system is seen in QUảng Nam Province. Đà Nẵng city raised worries on the development of a steel project in Quảng Nam province. VNS Photo Cộng Thành
The committee has also said the new steel project would only produce pig iron from steel scrap, using electric arc furnaces, discharging 19.5 cubic metres of water (for furnace cooling) each day.
However, Đà Nẵng City’s Chairman Huỳnh Đức Thơ said the city was worried that the steel project, which has a capacity of 180,000 tonnes per year, would badly pollute the Vu Gia-Thu Bồn River.
Hence a “serious” EIA should be carried out and the use of technology examined, he said.
He also said Quảng Nam should share relevant information, including that of environment impact assessments of projects in the Vu Gia-Thu Bồn River Basin, with neighbouring cities and provinces.
The pollution worries follow warnings about another steel project in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận, the $10.6 billion Hoa Sen Cà Ná Steel Complex, with an annual production capacity of 16 million tonnes.
At many recent conferences, scientists and other experts have highlighted the dangers posed by this and several other projects, saying they could “destroy” the Vu Gia-Thu Bồn River Basin, an invaluable resource for millions of people living in Quảng Nam and Đà Nẵng.
A total of 42 hydropower plants have been approved on the river, and more than 820 irrigation projects with 72 reservoirs have already been built in the river basin. — VNS