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Chinese firm’s zinc project in central Vietnam sparks environmental concern

Saturday, October 22, 2016, 14:18 GMT+7

A Chinese firm has proposed building a zinc mill at an economic zone in the central Vietnamese province of Thua Thien-Hue, raising a few eyebrows among local experts and members of the public.

The province’s deputy chairman, Nguyen Van Phuong, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday that Beijing Fuda Industry Co. Ltd. had revealed its plan to the local administration in a recent meeting.

The private Chinese firm wants to put its US$5 million zinc facility at the Chan May - Lang Co Economic Zone, with products meant for exports to Japan and back to China, Phuong said.

Beijing Fuda Industry is interested in the economic zone thanks to its deepwater port, which is capable of receiving ships with more than 50,000 metric tons of loading capacity, according to the local official.

The Chinese firm’s plan was published on the provincial administration’s website, and quickly attracted mixed responses.

Some locals are concerned that an industrial zinc making facility may hurt the local ecosystem and their livelihood, especially when it is located near the province’s tourism hub which features three famous spots, namely Lang Co, Bach Ma and Canh Duong.

However, Phuong reassured in the interview with Tuoi Tre that everything is just an unofficial proposal of the company for the provincial administration’s consideration.

“There is no such thing as the Thua Thien-Hue administration has already approved this project,” he underlined.

Phuong added that the proposition has to pass a number of steps and procedures to be really implemented.

“I guarantee that the provincial administration will consider the environment and people’s livelihood the most important factors when considering this plan,” he said.

“Personally I am also a Thua Thien-Hue resident so I will never let any environmental incident to happen on my birthplace.”

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