Hong Kong Textile Firm in Northern Vietnam Fined for Toxic Discharge

Tuan Minh

09:30 06/02/2017

BizLIVE - Vietnam has rung alarm about environmental violations caused by foreign firms and tightened its FDI policy.

Hong Kong Textile Firm in Northern Vietnam Fined for Toxic Discharge

The head office of Pacific Crystal Textiles Limited in Hai Duong province. Photo: VNA

Authorities of Hai Duong province have imposed a fine worth 672 million dong ($29,735) on Hong Kong-based textile company Pacific Crystal Textiles Limited for discharging wastewater that exceeded allowable levels of toxic waste.
The provincial government has also asked the textile firm to fix the latter’s wastewater treatment system as well as meet the environmental standards in the future, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Pacific Crystal started operating its wholly-owned $425-million plant in Hai Duong’s Lai Vu Industrial Park in early December 2015. The facility is designed to produce 360 million meters of cloth per year.
Pacific Crystal is the latest of a string of foreign, particularly Chinese-invested, companies that have been found violating environmental regulations.
Taiwan’s Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp (FHS), a hot-rolled steel plant in the central province of Ha Tinh, last year made headlines on international and local media as its toxic leaks caused the worst maritime disaster in Vietnam. It had to pay $500 million in compensation to the Vietnamese government.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in June last year inspected Hong Kong-invested Lee&Man Paper Manufacturing Company in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang over concerns about possible damage to the Mekong river, which is essential to the locals’ livelihoods.
Lee & Man has said that it has installed new waste facilities at the paper mill. It’s now undergoing a trial run that will continue into February, Bloomberg reported.
Truong Canh Tuyen, vice chairman of Hau Giang People’s Committee, said that Lee & Man’s plant will be allowed to open only if it meets the required standards.
A study by the National Economics University in Hanoi in 2015 found that nearly two-thirds of foreign-invested enterprises discharged more waste than local regulations allowed, while 23% of companies released 12 times the proscribed limit.
Vietnam’s top leaders have become more cautious about the strategy of courting foreign investment at any cost, vowing to reject environmentally harmful projects and paying more attention to high-quality investment.