Hung Nghiep Formosa, a Taiwanese steel firm in Ha Tinh Province, has pledged to work with the government to handle a recent mass fish deaths scandal that has left fishing villages in central Vietnam reeling.
Chen Yuan-Cheng, the company’s board chairman, said in a letter to his staff on Thursday that the investigation led by Vietnam’s environment ministry found that subcontractors' faults during the trial phase of operation had killed the fish.
“We respect the government’s investigation results and are cooperating with the authorities to handle and mitigate the consequences,” he said in the letter written in Vietnamese.
He said the plant will resume operation, with a priority for environment protection.
The plant’s scheduled opening on June 25 was delayed. No new date has been announced.
Vietnam’s government is expected to issue an official announcement on the cause of the disaster late Thursday afternoon.
Dead fish found on the beach in Ky Anh Town, Ha Tinh Province in April this year. Photo: Nguyen Dung/Thanh Nien
Formosa's letter was made public only hours before this press conference, which will be watched closely by Vietnamese across the country who have been waiting for an answer.
Formosa has been in hot water over the past weeks after hundreds of tons of fish washed ashore in April in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces in Vietnam's central region.
A sewage pipe that runs straight into the sea from its plant in Ha Tinh has been suspected of causing the disaster.
The fish kill, believed to be the worst environmental crisis in modern Vietnam, has taken away the livelihood of many fishing villages along the central coast.