A view of Formosa-invested steel plant in Vietnam. Photo: Internet
Plastics Corp has met conditions set by the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to start test runs of its steel mill, which was blamed for the worst environmental disaster in the Southeast Asian country last year.
A toxic spill last year from the plant caused mass deaths of maritime and seafood species and harmed the fishing and tourism industries in four provinces.
After concluding a three-day inspection visit to the mill in the country’s central province of Ha Tinh
, the ministry was quoted by state-run television station VTV
as saying that the plant had tackled 52 out of 53 violations identified in an official investigation into the toxic spill that caused the disaster.
However, the firm needs government approval before it can operate its first blast furnace.
The most notable violation which remains to be handled is a wet coking system, which is cheaper and generates more waste than the more modern and expensive dry coking system.
According to the investment license, Formosa is supposed to use the dry coking technology that does not need water as coolant. A release of water from the wet system after a power failure was the cause of the toxic spill.
The Taiwanese company is poised to complete a dry coking system by 2019.
Formosa has invested $10.6 billion in the steel plant that includes a coal-fired power plant and a deep-water seaport. This has been the largest single foreign investment in the country so far.
The company last month said it would add another $346.3 million to the project to bring the total investment to $11.03 billion.