Malaysian-owned firm faces sanctions for polluting in southern Vietnam

By VnExpress   August 13, 2016 | 08:03 pm PT
Malaysian-owned firm faces sanctions for polluting in southern Vietnam
Part of Formosa Industrial Park in Dong Nai Province. Photo by VnExpress/Ba Do
Police will launch a criminal investigation if the discharged waste is classified as hazardous.

Not long after the environmental disaster caused by Taiwanese Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company along Vietnam’s central coast, a Malaysian firm in the southern region has been caught discharging unprocessed waste into the environment. 

On July 28, Dong Nai Province’s environment police, in coordination with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, discovered Chin Well Fasteners Vietnam Co., Ltd was using one of its two underground pipelines to discharge untreated wastewater directly into the environment.

The Malaysian-owned firm that manufactures bolts and screws has denied the claim, saying the water is used to irrigate trees.

Authorities also found a large amount of waste buried on the site, news site VietnamPlus reported on August 12, quoting Vo Van Chanh, vice chairman of Dong Nai People’s Committee.

The incident is under investigation and samples of the wastewater and solid waste are being analyzed. Chin Well Fasteners Vietnam will face a criminal investigation if the waste is found to be hazardous. Otherwise, administrative fines will be imposed, the Dong Nai Newspaper reported August 12.

Locals living near the Formosa Industrial Park in Nhon Trach District where the Malaysian firm is located said underground water in the area has been severely polluted recently.

“My family has five wells but none of them can be used. Although the water looks clean, it smells like herbicide,” local woman Vo Thu Hoi told VietnamPlus.

Chin Well Fasteners Vietnam was founded in 2005 and operates as a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Chin Well Holdings Berhad. The Vietnam-based unit has investment capital of $80 million and has around 600 employees.

60 percent of Chin Well Fasterners Vietnam’s products are exported to Europe, 30 percent to the U.S, 5 percent to Japan and the rest to Southeast Asian nations, according to Chin Well’s data.

Chin Well Fasteners Vietnam is one of several foreign companies in the Formosa Industrial Park in Nhon Trach District. Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group established the industrial park in Dong Nai in 2001, seven years before Formosa Ha Tinh (2008). Formosa Plastics Group has four plants in the industrial park in Dong Nai.

In late June, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel admitted its $10.6 billion steel plant was responsible for the mass fish deaths that plagued the central coast. The company apologized to Vietnam and pledged to pay $500 million in compensation for the environmental disaster that it caused.

Related news:

Vietnam province launches criminal probe into Formosa-related waste burial

Where Formosa buried its waste

Formosa pays Vietnam first $250 mln fish death compensation

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