VietNamNet Bridge – Nearly 7,000 litres of toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) transformer oil that has been stored in a warehouse at Quang Ninh's Cai Lan Port since 2007 will be removed this week.

Firm told to deal with toxic substance threat


Photo: Tienphong 


The plan to move the oil to a hazardous waste treatment plant in the northern province's Cam Pha City was announced at a working session held on Friday (Aug 22) between the Viet Nam Environment Administration, provincial authorities and the Cuu Long Investment Joint Stock Company, which imported the oil.

The hazardous waste treatment plant, which belongs to Viet Nam National Coal Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited, was capable of preserving the oil safely, said Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment Hoang Danh Son.

In the next two months, the oil would be transported to a waste treatment facility in the southern province of Kien Giang, the only facility in the country that could handle such toxic oil.

The oil was currently stored in two containers at the warehouse of Cai Lan port. The containers were kept in good condition and there was no oil leakage into the environment, Son said.

Former Cuu Long chief executive officer Nguyen Tuan Duong said the company would assume complete responsibility for dealing with the toxic oil.

In 2008, local authorities found PCB transformer oil – a toxic contaminant –in one of three transformers imported from South Korea by Cuu Long.

Manufactured before 1975, the transformers had been imported in 2007 to build the Song Hong Thermal Power Plant, but the project was delayed and they remained in the warehouse.

Provincial authorities asked the company to return the transformers to its partner in South Korea. However, the company said its partner had refused to take back the transformers.

In May, the department worked with Cai Lan Port's Customs Division to store the oil and ensure it did not leak into the environment, especially Ha Long Bay.

In 2008, the provincial People's Committee fined the company VND85 million (US$4,000) for violating environmental protection regulations.