The central province of Binh Dinh’s authorities are sealing off the factory of loss-making Binh Dinh Sugar JSC (Bisuco), in which India-based NIVL JSC - a big debtor of Standard Chartered Bank both in Singapore and Vietnam, holds 97 per cent, for causing serious environmental pollution.
|Bisuco's factory continues to operate despite the authorities' ban. Photo: nld.com.vn) |
Ho Quoc Dung, Chairman of the Binh Dinh People’s Committee, on April 12 said that Bisuco caused serious pollution by directly discharging sewage into the Kon River. The local authorities have many times warned and ordered the firm to fix its violations, but went unheeded.
“Binh Dinh does not accept environmental pollution for economic growth. As a result, local authorities will seal off Bisuco’s factory. The company is only permitted to engage in manufacturing activities if it strictly observes environmental protection regulations,” Dung told the local newswire baobinhdinh.com.
Previously, in early May last year, the Binh Dinh People’s Committee assigned the province’s Department of Resources and Environment to inspect the factory’s environmental compliance after receiving complaints from locals.
After the inspection, the Binh Dinh Department of Resources and Environment directed Bisuco to quickly complete its assessment report on the effectiveness of the plant’s sewage treatment system, install equipment to measure the amount of sewage discharged, and arrange an area to keep highly poisonous sewage to ensure it does not find its way to the local people’s water supply. However, Bisuco completely ignored these requirements.
On February 5 this year, the Binh Dinh Department of Resources and Environment randomly checked the factory’s sewage samples. The results show that Bisuso’s sewage treatment systems do not operate effectively, and the quality of the sewage is substandard. Therefore, the department ordered Bisuco to resolve its environmental issues before February 28. However, Bisuco has not repaired these issues since then.
On March 13, the Binh Dinh People’s Committee issued a document ordering Bisuco to stop production from March 23. However, to date, Bisuco has maintained operations.
Located in the central province of Binh Dinh, Bisuco was established in 1995 and was originally a state owned company.
In 2006, Bisuco was equitises and India-based NIVL JSC bought 97 per cent of Bisuco's stake.
With NIVL’s technical support, the factory’s capacity expanded from 1,800 tonnes of sugar canes per day (TDC) to 3,500 TDC, thus produces about 50,000 tonnes of refined sugar per year.
NIVL JSC is operating a sugar facility in the southern province of Long An, and it has also been facing difficulties since 2013.
By the end of 2017, NIVL’s total debts reached up to VND800 billion ($35.24 million), including VND56 billion ($2.46 million) to local farmers and cane traders. NIVL is also a big debtor of Standard Chartered Bank both in Singapore and Vietnam.
Standard Chartered said it is inappropriate for the bank to comment.