Taiwanese firm to pour $2.5 bln into "fish death" controversial Vietnamese industrial zone

By Bach Duong   June 24, 2016 | 08:07 am GMT+7

Ha Tinh Province has allowed Taiwanese firm Wei Yu Engineering Co, Ltd to conduct a survey and develop a plan to invest in the Vung Ang Economic Zone, despite being in the middle of an environmental squabble.

The Taipei based enterprise is proposing to invest $2.5 billion in the zone, of which $1 billion will go on a breeding and food processing project and the rest will be used to construct a sea port covering 1,000 hectares.

The zone was at the center of an environmental disaster that involved over a hundred tons of dead fish washing up along a 200km stretch of Vietnam's coast in recent months, and many people have pointed the finger of blame at Formosa, a Taiwanese steel company that was operating in Vung Ang. 

Wei Yu's proposal includes the construction of docks with logistics areas and 16 agricultural areas to breed pigs and poultry and cultivate vegetables. The Taiwanese enterprise also plans to build a livestock food factory and processing plants for cooking oil, meat and food frozen. The company will house its experts and engineers on a new 80-hectare complex.

taiwanese-firm-to-pour-25-billion-into-notorious-vietnamese-industrial-zone-ed

Wei Yu Engineering is yet another Taiwanese investor that has set its sights on Vung Ang despite notorious environmental issues. Photo from nhandan.com.vn

Authorities in Ha Tinh have approved the preliminary plan for the two proposed projects and have asked Wei Yu Engineering for detailed reports on targets, financial standing and feasibility.

The Vung Ang Economic Zone was meant to include 11 docks, but five have yet to be built. Wei Yu Engineering has asked for permission to construct the remaining docks.

The Taiwanese enterprise is also asking for a vast area of land, but Ha Tinh Province said it is possible given Wei Yu Engineering’s proposal to build the docks and double the logistics area. The company was also after 6,000 hectares for agricultural purposes, but only 1,000 hectares is available in scattered locations.

Regarding technology deployment, Wei Yu Engineering has pledged to utilize advanced technologies to maximize the use of the land while protecting the environment, but Ha Tinh's Planning and Investment Department said the Taiwanese enterprise has not provided details of environmental protection measures.

In recent years, the zone has been an attractive destination for Taiwanese investors. In 2012, Formosa Plastic Group invested in steel production under a unit of the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, a large iron and steel works in Vietnam, with total estimated investment capital of $28.5 billion.

The first stage of the project is about to be completed at a cost of $10.5 billion, but it has triggered public outrage following environmental issues

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