Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc inspected the wastewater treatment and manufacturing process at Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company on July 20, nearly one year since his visit to check its environmental protection commitment following the marine environment incident in 2016.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (second, right) inspects the Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company on July 20. (Source: VNA)
He visited the wastewater treatment area, wastewater quality monitor office, steel refining units, and Formosa wharf, as well as checking data transmission from biological lake and automatic wastewater monitor stations to the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
During a working session with leaders of Formosa, and ministries and agencies in the central province of Ha Tinh, the PM said his visit was also to ensure that the furnaces No.1 and No.2 will be put into operation stably, towards producing nearly 7 million tonnes of steel in the near future.
He lauded Formosa for fixing 52 out of 53 faults under open and transparent supervision, building houses for workers, and granting scholarships to students.
The PM affirmed that Vietnam offers all possible support to domestic and foreign investors to do business in the country, adding that the Vietnamese Government protects the legitimate rights and interests of investors in line with both the law and their responsibilities to the Vietnamese Government and people.
The PM hailed Formosa for building large-scale technical infrastructure worth over USD 11 billion in Vietnam – making it the largest foreign-invested project in the country, generating jobs for more than 12,000 workers and making important contributions to local budget.
Recalling the serious marine environment impacts from the incident two years ago in the central provinces, he asked Formosa to learn from its lesson and prevent committing the mistake again, adding that it is a strict requirement of the Vietnamese State and it will be punished strictly in line with the law if it commits any related violations again.
The PM heralded the efforts of ministries, agencies, localities, and scientists of Ha Tinh province and Formosa for overcoming the marine environment incident in the central region of the country.
The company was requested to conform to environmental requirements, invest in advanced technologies to improve product quality, and mitigate environmental impacts.
He suggested that the firm should adopt technologies to recycle and use waste materials; improve the efficiency of land use, technical infrastructure, and seaports; and build a 200ha industrial zone for the support industry.
The Vietnamese government will continue stabilising the macro-economy and foreign exchange rates, as well as stepping up the fight against smuggling and trade fraud to protect domestic manufacturers.
Ministries and agencies were assigned to make it easier for Formosa to deliver on its commitment with the Government, including studying manufacturing standards.
Ha Tinh authorities must work closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to closely monitor environmental indicators at the company, and consider issuing a joint working mechanism to address any difficulties.
Formosa put the furnace No.1 on trial run in 2017, producing 1.6 million tonnes of cast iron valued at USD 854 million. In the first half of this year, the volume of cast iron reached 1.9 million tonnes, which is expected to hit over 5 million tonnes this year, bringing a revenue of roughly USD 2.6 billion.
The furnace No. 2 was put into pilot operation on May 18, reaching 95 per cent of its capacity.
The company has built three levels of incident prevention inside and outside the factory. Water quality at the ecological lake has reached A-standard while solid wastes have been recycled.
It is also stepping up training cooperation with the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, the Da Nang University of Science and Technology, and Hue University to train technical staff. The firm has built 304 apartments for married workers, a dormitory for single workers, and a 100-bed hospital for workers and local residents./.