Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc visited Cửa Việt Fishing Port in Quảng Trị Province’s Gio Linh District yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc yesterday visited people in central Thừa Thiên-Huế and Quảng Trị provinces two years after the marine life disaster caused by the Taiwanese Hưng Nghiệp Formosa Steel Plant.
In April 2016, the plant, based in central Hà Tĩnh Province, released toxic waste into the ocean which killed fish and destroying the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen in the province and neighbouring localities of Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên- Huế.
Visiting Thuận An Town in Thừa Thiên-Huế Province’s Phú Vang District, PM Phúc expressed his delight to see improvements to the living conditions of the local people after receiving compensation for the disaster.
He applauded the provincial authorities’ efforts in building and implementing compensation plan transparently and publicly.
Local people in affected areas received compensation and financial aid worth VNĐ980.3 billion (US$43.5 million).
Noting opinions of local people, PM Phúc urged relevant ministries, agencies and provincial authorities to soon complete the planning for the development of Tam Giang Lagoon and to upgrade infrastructure in Phú Vang District to help improve the living conditions.
He also instructed local authorities to speed up vocational training and shift jobs for local fishermen to other sectors such as garment, textiles, footwear and labour export.
Visiting fishermen in Cửa Việt Fishing Port in Quảng Trị Province’s Gio Linh District, PM Phúc applauded their efforts in overcoming the incident’s consequences.
He also praised the compensation tasks of local authorities and urged them to support local fishermen.
As scheduled, the PM will chair a national conference today to review measures to help local people in affected localities to stabilise their lives.
Formosa’s blast furnace No. 2 to be piloted
The interdisciplinary monitoring council on Formosa Steel Plant announced that it had met the environmental protection requirements for a trial operation of the blast furnace No. 2 from May 15 to 25.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), after its trial operation from May 2018, the total steel production of Formosa can reach 5 tonnes per year.
The wastewater treatment facility is capable of treating safely the wastewater generated from blast furnace No. 2 before discharging it into the waste stabilisation pond and then into the sea.
Moreover, the blast furnace no. 1 has been piloted by Formosa since May 29, 2017.
From July 2017, the ministry cooperated with related agencies, experts and scientists to inspect and evaluate 11 construction items which were operated at the same time with the blast furnace No. 1, Tuổi trẻ (Youth) Newspaper reported.
During the inspection process, the ministry consulted the Centre for Standards, Metrology and Quality No. 1 under the General Department of Standardisation, Metrology and Quality (Ministry of Science and Technology) and the Centre for Environmental Monitoring under MoNRE to collect and analyse waste samples to evaluate the treatment efficiency of environmental protection constructions.
By the end of December 2017, when the blast furnace No. 1 operated at its designed capacity, 11 construction items met the Vietnamese standard requirements of waste collection and treatment.
Based on the results, MoNRE confirmed the completion of these 11 items for Formosa to officially operate.
Currently, the blast furnace is operated at 95 per cent of its designed capacity, producing some 9,100 tonnes of liquid cast iron per day.
In another development, from May 18 to 26, the five central coastal localities, including Thanh Hoá, Nghệ An, Quảng Bình, Quảng Trị and Đà Nẵng, will simultaneously run an environment protection campaign themed ’Việt Nam’s Blue Ocean’.
The launching ceremony will be organised on May 18 at Bình Minh Square in Cửa Lò Town, Nghệ An Province by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in collaboration with Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union.
At the press conference on Tuesday in Hà Nội, the organising committee said that beach cleaning activities in the provinces would be implemented and 10 scholarships would be awarded to the children of fishermen under the framework of the campaign.
The campaign will also witness the participation of social activists, celebrities and contributors who will implement the environment protection projects in the central beaches. — VNS