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Agencies argue whether Formosa’s slag is recyclable

The Thai Nguyen Department of Natural Resources and the Environment has proposed stopping the recycling of Formosa’s slag to make steel, saying that slag cannot meet the requirements for recycling.

The slag from Formosa steel complex in Ha Tinh province was being carried to Thai Nguyen for treatment and recycling until the Thai Nguyen agency examined slag samples and said the slag contained a high pH concentration which did not meet the required standards.

 

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However, on May 10, a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MONRE) and the Environment said 71.6 percent of Formosa’s desulfurized slag was iron and encouraged it to be used as material for steel manufacturing.

The solid waste of different kinds of Formosa complex, such as blast furnace slag, steel slag, fly ash, and bottom ash will be recollected to be used as raw materials for production in the complex and other industries.

As such, the two agencies have different views about the quality of Formosa’s slag. Luu Binh Nhuong, a National Assembly’s Deputy, said the case will be forwarded to the PM for approval. The PM may assign an organization to come forward and implement the PM’s instructions.

The two agencies have different views about the quality of Formosa’s slag. Luu Binh Nhuong, a National Assembly’s Deputy, said the case will be forwarded to the PM for approval. The PM may assign an organization to come forward and implement the PM’s instructions.

The PM may also instruct the Supreme People’s Court to judge the case if there is litigation or complaint. He may also assign the government inspection agency or choose an independent organization, foreign or domestic, to clarify the case.

However, Nhung thinks that it would be better if ministries and branches can join forces to clarify if Formosa’s slag is suitable for recycling.

“Vietnam has qualified experts in different fields and if they can work with objectivity, the problem will be settled immediately,” Nhuong said.

MONRE needs to cooperate with Thai Nguyen province to take samples of slag and make assessments about its quality. Vietnam has sufficient staff and equipment to clarify if the slag is hazardous and suitable as input materials. The Ministry of Science & Technology needs to get involved in the process.

On May 10, MONRE organized a press conference to provide information about the transfer of Formosa’s slag, thought as hazardous, to some companies for recycling.

At present, MDH Vietnam receives slag from Formosa Ha TInh and then transfers the slag to six companies in Thai Nguyen, totaling 20,000 tons.

Nguyen Thuong Hien, director of the Waste Management Department, of MONRE, at the press conference affirmed that the Thai Nguyen Department of Natural Resources and the Environment was wrong when measuring the pH index and concluding that the slag is ‘hazardous waste’.

Hoang Van Thuc, deputy general director of the General Directorate of Environment, said the department has asked the companies to halt the recycling before a final decision is made.

 

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