Vietnam cancels $9.8 bln steel venture

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The Vietnamese government has decided to revoke the investment license of a US$9.8 billion joint venture between state-owned shipbuilder Vinashin and Malaysia's Lion Group to build a steel plant.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved a plan to cancel the Ca Na project in the Central Province of Ninh Thuan, local officials confirmed Thursday.

Investors broke ground on the project in late 2008. Since then, no construction has been carried out, apart from site clearance. 

Previous reports stated that the investors have had problems coming up with the necessary funding. Last year, Ninh Thuan authorities tried to find a new investor for the project but failed to do so.

Pham Dong, director of Ninh Thuan Planning and Investment Department, said the project's site is very accessible.

Some investors have expressed interest in developing projects other than steel plants, he said, noting that the province is seeking more environmental-friendly options.

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