January 17, 2022, 11:26 pm

Millions of USD “incinerated” at HCM’s state-of-the-art waste treatment site

(14:46:01 PM 02/07/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - The HCM City authorities have decided to close Dumping Ground No 3 at the Hiep Phuoc waste treatment complex, after determining thatit is seriously polluting the environment.


Hundreds of billions of dong of high technology


Landfill No 3 was introduced last year as one of the most modern dumping grounds in Vietnam, with a total price tag of VND976 billion and capacity of 2,000 tons of waste per day. Covering an area of 22.68 hectares, the landfill had beenexpected to operate for nine years, from 2013 to 2022.


Documents on the project disclose that the landfill employs a highly advanced technology from KBEC, a South Korean company. The system involves sanitary dumping methods which satisfy Vietnamese environmental standards.


The technology, at least on paper, allows harmful pollutants to be isolated from the earth’s environment, including surface water and groundwater, and its air borne emissions to fall well within permitted pollution levels.


The landfill began receiving waste in October 2013. Since then it has been treating 550,000 tons of garbage a day.


Ironically, the multi-billion dong project, whose mission was to reduce environmental degradation, has instead been the source of serious pollution in neighboring areas. It has reached such a level of severity that HCM City officials have ordered that some component projects of the Hiep Phuoc Complex, including Landfill No 3, be stopped, despite the anticipated loss.


According to the Urban Environment Company Limited, the investor of the project, in case the projects stop their operation, the waste treatment plant of the company would be the biggest victim. Its 300 workers would become redundant, and given that they have no transferable working skills, would find it difficult to get other jobs. Furthermore, the other 1,500 workers of the company would see their incomes slashed from VND8 million to VND4 million.


Also, according to the company, the interruption of operations will also affect the company’s investment activities as a partner in its joint operations with South Korea’s KBEC. The HCM City Veteran Company Limited and the Thanh Long JSC, which have spent VND150 billion on the project, would also suffer.


City officials have also been warned that if Landfill No 3 is shut, the city will have to pay VND685 billion in compensation for stopping the project. Moreover, the city will need to construct a standby landfill, which is expected to cost an additional VND856 billion.


Who will pay?


Landfill No 3 was built after the project was rubber-stamped by a series of state agencies and received the approval of the HCM City Department of Natural Resources and Environment. All involved agencies agreed that the complex, with its advanced technology, would help ease pollution in the city.


Because of the labyrinthine chain of approval, observers now note that it would be very difficult to determine who in the government should be held responsible for the failure of the project, once hailed as “perfect”, but now decried as “terrible”.


Saigonese, however, are urging the city to investigate to determine who is to blame for this financial and environmental disaster. The party or parties, they insist, must be disciplined for wasting hundreds of billions of taxpayer dong.

Ha Noi Moi

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