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Strict environment control set for paper and cement plants

Update: July, 18/2018 - 09:15
The entrance to the Đại Việt-Dung Quất cement plant in Bình Sơn Distict, Quảng Ngãi Province is blocked by local people protesting pollution. The province will close close or relocate the plant if air and dust control are not improved. — VNS Photo Ngọc Phước
Viet Nam News

QUẢNG NGÃI — Authorities in the central province of Quảng Ngãi have threatened to shut down a cement plant in Bình Đông Commune if the plant’s management board does not take measure to improve air quality and dust emissions.

Chairman of the provincial people’s committee, Trần Ngọc Căng, said the province would invite independent consultants to monitor the environment around the cement plant.

The district had relocated 107 households living just 50m from the plant to a new residential area, but more than 1,600 households remain due to lack of funding.

According to a report from the province, the Đại Việt-Dung Quất cement plant, which was built in 2005 and started trial operations in 2012 with a total capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year, had polluted the environment and residents of Sơn Trà and Tân Hy villages. The plant officially began operating in 2015, but had already heavily affected the lives of villagers.

Despite improvements made in March of 2015, the plant is still affecting local residents.

The provincial chairman said the province wanted to relocate 427 households living near the plant, but needed VNĐ989 billion (US$44 million) to do so.

Căng said the province planned to close the plant down or move it to another area away from residents.

The entrance to the VNT19 wood-pulp plant in Bình Sơn Sistrict. The central province of Quảng Ngãi has instructed the investor to upgrade all equipment and before officially opening the plant. — VNS Photo Ngọc Phước

Paper plant

In other decision released last week, the province instructed the VNT19 wood-pulp plant in Bình Sơn District to upgrade its equipment and waste water treatment system before it begins operations.

The province said the paper plant, which had a designed capacity of 250,000 tonnes each year, had imported second-hand, low-quality equipment that would result in environmental pollution.

It said new equipment must be supervised by an assessment unit approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology and meet European standards.

The plant will need new coal-fired boilers, dust filters, cooling towers, drying machines and a control system.

According to the management board of Dung Quất Economic Zone, the plant was designed to cover 68.6ha of Bình Phước Commune in Bình Sơn District, 20km north of Quảng Ngãi City, with total investment of US$86.26 million in 2011.

According to the province, the company had requested adjustments to its investment licence five times, and to increase the budget for the project to $221 million.

However, the owner had delayed operations at the plant following its 2011 investment licence, and only some office buildings and stores had been built on an area of 6,200sq.m.

According to scientists and biologists, the project would pollute the environment and damage the rich biodiversity of a century-old nipa palm forest in the area. — VNS


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