Taiwan Company Formosa Investigated

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) made public the results of the investigation into Formosa. Formosa – full name, Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tĩnh Steel Company – had to report how it had dealt with the environmental damage it caused across four provinces. MONRE reported earlier in November that Formosa had paid US$500 million to the Vietnamese government. In addition it implemented both the temporary and long-term measures required by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Tran Hong Ha. 

Formosa’s cast-iron and steel factories have nine liquid waste systems that they have constructed on site. MONRE also reported that the treatment of domestic, biochemical and industrial liquid wastes and air treatment systems are operating up to required technical standards. Minister Tran Hong Ha has given the company until 31 March 2017 to finish all the necessary upgrades to its environment protection infrastructure. This will be achieved by working with domestic and foreign experts, and scientific and technological agencies. 

On the technical side, Formosa has been using a wet coke quenching technology instead of the required coke dry quenching (CDQ). It has to change to CDQ by 31 March and cease using that system by June 2019. It will then have to switch to clean technologies for production. The report also stated that Formosa has now stopped the transfer of toxic and nontoxic solid waste to unauthorised units for treatment.

Formosa is still storing some 711.5 tonnes of toxic mud, rising by 97 tonnes every month. Some has been transferred to the Ha Tĩnh Industrial Waste Processing Limited Company for treatment. About 125 tonnes had been transferred as of 29 October.

MONRE has assigned the Vietnam General Administration of Environment, Ha Tĩnh Province’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and Ha Tĩnh Economic Zone Management Board to inspect the efforts for the protection of the environment that Formosa has made.The Vietnam General Administration of Environment together with the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality will be taking samples for testing.

Formosa accepted responsibility, in June, for causing this Central Vietnam environmental disaster. It was responsible for killing thousands of fish in Ha Tĩnh, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Trị and Quang Bình provinces. It further pledged to improve waste and wastewater treatment and production technologies. It also promised to ensure that future waste is completely treated before being discharged, and that there would be no repeat of such incidents.

Head photo by: bbc.com

Updated: March 27, 2017
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