Vietnam PM Halts Controversial $10.6-Billion Steel Project

Tuan Minh

07:30 17/04/2017

BizLIVE - The prime minister has turned a red light to the Ca Na steel plant project amid concerns over demand and pollution.

Vietnam PM Halts Controversial $10.6-Billion Steel Project

A perspective view of the Ca Na steel project. Photo: Internet

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has demanded the government of Ninh Thuan province and relevant ministries to stop work on the $10.6-billion steel plant project in the wake of an environmental disaster caused by Taiwan’s Formosa Group that occurred a year ago.
According to a government announcement, the prime minister asked for more thorough studies into domestic and global demand, material supplies as well as technologies, in order to determine the capacity and the timeframe for the project’s development.  
“This steel rolling project, which has been proposed after the incident at the Formosa steel mill, is very sensitive. Therefore, it needs to clarify all those issues in the feasibility study,” says the announcement.
A toxic leak at the Formosa-invested steel mill in the central province of Ha Tinh caused the worst environmental disaster in Vietnam last April. It devastated maritime life and caused thousands of fishermen and those dependent on tourism in four provinces along the 200-kilometer jobless.
Hoa Sen Group (HSG), among the largest steel producers in Vietnam, in early 2016 hinted that it wanted to revive the project, which had been licensed to shipbuilder Vinashin and Malaysia’s Lion Group in 2008 and was canceled three years later following the foreign investor’s withdrawal.
HSG Chairman Le Phuoc Vu in 2016 announced plans to invest some $10.6 billion in the steel project with an annual capacity of 16 million tons.
The Ministry of Industry and Traded later included the project in a national steel master plan toward 2025, arguing that Vietnam still needs to import a large volume of steel to meet domestic demand.