The contractor of one of Vietnam's largest steel mill in Ba Ria-Vung Tau has used steel scrap to build roads inside its premises, environment police of the southern coastal province found Saturday.
Four roads were already completed and there remained two piles of around thousands of tons of steel scrap at the construction site of the factory of Pomina Steel Joint Stock Company in the Phu My No.1 Industrial Zone, the police said.
The roads are nearly 600 meters long, 6-12 meters wide and the steel scrap was 0.2-0.4 meters thick.
Le Huu Tuan, a manager of Viet Trang Company, said his firm was hired by the main contractor, Kim Nguon Company, to transport and level the scrap for VND33,000 (US$1.73) per cubic meter.
Tuan said his company had leveled 8,000 tons of the scrap, around 4,000 cubic meters, over a 7,000 square meter area. He said the scrap would be coverd with gravel later.
Investigators found the steel scrap had been carried from the Thep Viet Steel Joint Stock Company, which is part of Thep Viet Joint Stock Company just like Pomina.
Local police have ordered a stop to the transport of steel scrap to the construction site. They noted that some officials from Pomina company have tried to prevent the investigation.
Bui Van Quy, a local official, said the police would invite Kim Nguon Company, Pomina and Thep Viet Steel to talk about the matter on Monday.
"If they continue being non-cooperative, we will suggest to higher authorities that legal action be taken," Quy said.
He said this was not the first time the companies had violated regulations in treating industrial solid waste.
In February last year, three trucks were caught dumping around 90 tons of steel scrap from the Thep Viet Steel Company at the yard of a local pagoda.
The truck owner, identified only as Nguyen Thi T., said the company gave her the scrap for free after the pagoda hired her to clear its ground.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau doesn't have a treatment plant for steel cinder. The province allows steel mills to keep their own cinder but bans them from using it to clear the ground or for any construction purposes.
But Thep Viet Steel Company and Southern Steel Company by themselves discharge hundreds of tons of steel scrap a day. They and other companies cannot keep the scrap on their premises anymore, so they have sold the scrap or just given it away.
Steel scrap will damage the environment if it is not treated properly, experts say.