April 4, 2017 / 3:48 AM / 3 years ago

Vietnam examining Formosa to decide trial-runs

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam’s environment ministry is currently examining Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics’ steel plant in Ha Tinh province to decide whether to allow trial runs, the government said on Tuesday.

Formosa Ha Tinh Steel operates an $11 billion steel plant on country’s central coast that spilled toxic waste that polluted more than 200 km (125 miles) of coastline in April 2016, devastating the environment, jobs and economies of four provinces.

The government said on its website that an environment ministry inspection team is visiting Formosa’s plant from April 3 to April 5 and “examining Formosa’s overall environmental protection works and carefully reviewing the way the firm has fixed violations.”

Formosa has addressed 51 out of 53 violations identified in an investigation into the spill, the ministry said.

Depending on the results of the current inspection, the government will decide whether to allow Formosa to begin test runs at its first blast furnace.

Formosa last month said it would boost investment by about $350 million in the project to improve environmental safety measures with the hope of starting commercial production by the fourth quarter of this year.

Reporting by My Pham; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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