VietNamNet Bridge – Ho Van Nien, Deputy Chair of the Ba Ria-Vung Tau provincial People’s Committee has stated that the local authorities will not grant investment licenses to any more steel projects. The problem is that the operational steel mills in the province are consuming a huge volume of water and electricity.
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Talking to Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon Online late last week, Nien said that the high demand for electricity and water from the local steel mills has put a heavy burden on the locality.
The provincial People’s Committee has instructed relevant agencies to reconsider steel projects and revoke the licenses granted to four steel projects due to the investors’ tardiness in the project implementation.
Besides, the province is also considering reducing the number of steel projects in the locality, while it will only keep high grade steel production projects.
According to Nien, the provincial authorities have decided that the province will only attract the steel projects which use high technologies and do not consume much electricity and water. Ba Ria-Vung Tau is now facing the electricity and water shortage which has been blamed on the existence of too many steel mills
The volume of underground water provided to the province has been decreasing dramatically over the last 10 years due to many reasons. The artesian waters for Ba Ria-Vung Tau rise from Lam Vien highlands. Meanwhile, the serious watershed deforestation has led to the underground water decreases.
Another problem is the unreasonable use of water by local enterprises. A lot of industrial factories are using the water provided for household consumption.
In order to create water supply sources for industrial production and irrigation, the province is considering building some water reservoirs with big capacity, such as Da Den and Song Pha. Besides, the local authorities are also trying to restrict the projects in the fields of textile, dying, tanning, seafood processing and some other fields.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau has been listed among the provinces which have the biggest number of unprogrammed steel projects (the national strategy on steel industry development does not include these steel projects). These include 10 projects which have the total steel ingot capacity higher by 2.8 million tons than the programmed level, and the total laminating steel capacity higher by 3.3 million tons than the programmed level.
Experts have pointed out that seven steel projects have been granted investment licenses by the local authorities which did not consult with the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
Ba Ria-Vung Tau is now also leading other provinces and cities nationwide in the number licensed steel projects with 18 projects granted licenses.
The overly high number of steel projects is not the problem of Ba Ria-Vung Tau only. Local authorities keep issuing licenses for new steel projects, though they have been warned that Vietnam has too many steel mills already.
Most recently, in early June, the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) again petitioned the Prime Minister, complaining that provincial authorities continue to grant licenses for steel projects, even though supply greatly exceeds current demand. VSA argues that too many steel projects may damage the nation’s steel industry development strategy.
VSA thinks local authorities should only grant licenses for projects that will make products which cannot now be made manufactured domestically.
Source: Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon