|The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has decided to use one million cubic metres of sludge from the Vĩnh Tân 1 Thermal Power Plant to reclaim land from the sea for building the Vĩnh Tân General Port in the central province of Bình Thuận. — Photo zing.vn|
HCM CITY — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has decided to use one million cubic metres of sludge from the Vĩnh Tân 1 Thermal Power Plant to reclaim land from the sea for building the Vĩnh Tân General Port in the central province of Bình Thuận.
The port will spread over 141 hectares, including 51 hectares of reclaimed land.
Vĩnh Tân, to become one of the key national seaports, is expected to cost VNĐ2.3 trillion (US$100 million).
The ministry will work closely with the Bình Thuận People’s Committee and the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Industry and Trade to monitor the project.
Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng has instructed the ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Industry and Trade, the Việt Nam Academy of Science and Technology, and the People’s Committee to study how to effectively use sludge for land reclamation and preventing landslides in threatened areas but without compromising on environmental protection.
The sludge from the thermal power plant was originally planned to be dumped very near the Hòn Cau Marine Protected Area (MPA), which has coral reefs and sea grass and a large number of marine creatures.
Besides, the waters off Bình Thuận play a very important role in the country’s marine bio-diversity and are rich in resources. Its fisheries yields are much higher than in any other region, and the sea bottom has sand and stones, making it an ideal habitat for many precious fisheries species like lobsters.
Bình Định and Bình Thuận are the two provinces that supply naturally caught lobsters to other provinces like Phú Yên, Khánh Hòa, and Ninh Thuận for breeding.
Lobster farming is worth several thousands of billons of đồng (tens million of US dollar) each year and creates several thousand jobs.
Besides, Bình Thuận is among those provinces that have optimal quality of seawater, supplies a third of all brood shrimp for farming, and is thus expected to play a major role in achieving the country’s target of exporting shrimps worth $10 billion by 2025.
Bình Thuận Province plans to build five new thermal power plants, and the problem of how to dispose of sludge is for sure not going away anytime soon. — VNS