Nhan Co bauxite plant in the central highlands province of Dak Nong. Photo: VNA
After delays in construction, Vietnam’s second bauxite refinery plant in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong will have its first test run next month, news website Saigon Times Online reported Tuesday.
Le Minh Chuan, chairman of the Vietnam National Coal and Mining Industries Group (Vinacomin), was quoted as saying that the test is to prepare for Nhan Co Plant’s trial production later this year.
Work on the plant, which is designed to produce 650,000 tons of alumina a year, started in 2010. The construction was scheduled for completion in 2012, but delayed due to difficulties in site acquisition.
Vinacomin also plans to operate the country’s first plant, Tan Rai in nearby Lam Dong Province, at its full capacity by the end of the year, according to the report.
The plant is currently operating at just 75 percent of its designed capacity, which is also 650,000 tons a year, and its products always sell out, the website quoted the company as saying.
Long before Vinacomin launched its bauxite projects, local experts and the public alike were voicing concern, saying that the plants would be unsafe and economically inefficient.
A report by the industry ministry in February last year said that Tan Rai would likely incur losses of VND176-258 billion a year until 2015, and Nhan Co until 2020, due to overspending and falling aluminum prices.
Vietnam has some 5.5 billion tons of bauxite reserves, considered the world's third largest behind only Guinea's and Australia's, according to a report by the US Geological Survey in 2009.