Foreign companies yet to find the green vibe

August 22, 2011 | 15:50
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More foreign firms in Vietnam are turning up their noses at the nation’s environmental regulations.
illustration photo

Deputy Minister of Public Security Pham Quy Ngo said environmental violations in Vietnam were on the rise.

Ngo said firms were taking advantage of Vietnam’s open-door policy and attractive investment policy, plus loopholes in environmental protection.

He said many foreign firms had failed to invest in building waste treatment facilities.

“Though many firms have their own waste treatment facilities, they always try to find ways to damage the environment, with secret underground systems,” Ngo said.

“Many foreign firms, pressurised by strict environmental regulations in their countries, are ready to invest backward technology into Vietnam,” he said.

In the latest breach, the Ministry of Public Security’s Environmental Crime Prevention and Fighting Police Department (C49) found Chinese-invested Spindex Industries in Hanoi’s Noi Bai Industrial Park directly discharging toxic water into the environment.

The waste water treatment system of the firm, granted an investment certificate in December 2004 to manufacture mechanical products, was found to have sub-standard equipment.

A Spindex source told VIR that the waste water filter system of the company’s factory was “overloaded” at time of being discovered, with black water overflowing into the environment. “Unluckily, the policemen appeared,” she said.

“Now, the factory has resumed its normal operations as the mud in the system has been removed,” she said, adding that C49 had yet to officially announce its investigation results to the company.

In similar developments, C49 has also found Taiwanese-backed Nan Pao Resin Vietnam in southern Binh Duong province was seriously destroying the environment.

Nan Pao, specialised in manufacturing plastic and paint with a monthly capacity of over 1,000 tonnes, was reported by C49 to directly discharge chemical-related toxic untreated water into the environment. It has no system to treat discharged gas, while its oil-fired furnaces remained frequently operational.

The firm’s general director Huang Chin Keng admitted the firm’s violations.

A source from the firm’s environmental division said: “C49 has yet to announce punishments [for Nan Pao].”

He said the firm did not lack cash to invest in installing environmental protection systems. “The company is planning to invest VND500 million ($25,000) into building a waste water treatment facility,” he said.

Last month, Chinese-backed LongTech Precision Vietnam Company Limited, based in Bac Ninh province’s Que Vo Industrial Park, was also found discharging over 100 cubic metres of toxic untreated waste water per day into the park’s drains.

C49 reported that during this year’s first half, some 2,962 environmental pollution cases in Vietnam were discovered, with 86 prosecuted.

By Nguyen Thanh

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