Luks faces closure when dust settles

09:59 | 02/03/2011
"The environment pollution is negatively impacting on residents surrounding the factory"
Luks Cement Vietnam

Luks Cement Vietnam, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hong Kong’s Luks Industrial Group, could be fined or have its factory temporarily shut due to environment pollution offences, according to local authorities.

Thua Thien-Hue provincial People’s Committee announced that it had established a task force to investigate Luks’ environmental pollution.

Nguyen Huu Quyet, deputy director at the central province’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said Luks’ factory had discharged a big amount of dust into the environment.

“The environmental pollution is negatively impacting on residents surrounding the factory,” said Quyet.

The issue became serious when 400 Luks workers were intercepted on the way to the factory late last year by local residents, who asked Luks to stop discharging dust into the environment. Local residents complained that the pollution had been happening since Luks started the factory in 1996.

“If this issue is not settled, residents will continue preventing the operation of the cement factory,” said Quyet.

The Luks case once again raises concern over the pollution activities at foreign-invested companies.

Last October, residents in Haiphong’s Minh Duc town also blocked the way to the Chinfon cement factory to prevent environment pollution. The factory was backed by Taiwan’s Chinfon Vietnam Holding Company, Haiphong People’s Committee and Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation.

So far, Thua Thien-Hue People’s Committee has contracted a domestic consultancy agency for assessing pollution levels with the results reported early next month.

At the same time, the provincial authority also asked Luks to submit a plan for stopping pollution activities and protecting local environment before February 28.

“Based on the report of the consultancy agency, we will decide what punishment should be imposed on Luks,” said Quyet.

Luks declined to comment on the proceedings.

Luks Cement Vietnam, was initially a joint venture between Luks Industrial Group and Thua Thien-Hue People’s Committee. In 2005, Luks Industrial Group acquired the factory. Two years latter, Luks raised the annual total capacity from 800,000 to 1.5 million tonnes. The brand name of the group’s cement products, “Kim Dinh” has been widely recognised on the local market, especially in central Vietnam.

Most of the products are sold in the domestic market, with a few quantity of clinkers supplied to Laos. Luks products were provided to major projects like Hai Van Pass Tunnel, Dung Quat oil refinery and numerous highways in Vietnam.

By Ngoc Linh

vir.com.vn

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