Vietnam Prime Minister Calls Halt to Operation of $94 Million Pulp Mill

The Phuong Nam pulp mill in Long An Province, located in southern Vietnam. Photo courtesy Tuoi Tre.

May 21, 2014 (TUOITRENEWS) - Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered a stop to a multi-million-dollar pulp making plant in the southern province of Long An over its troubled operations, fueled by material disputes with local jute growers, the provincial People’s Committee announced Tuesday.

Phuong Nam pulp mill was constructed by Tracodi, a subsidiary of the Transport Ministry-run CIENCO 6, under a VND2 trillion (US$94.34 million) investment funded by the state budget.

The facility broke ground in March 2006 in Long An, around 60km west of Ho Chi Minh City, and was put into operation a year later at a capacity of producing 100,000 tons of paper pulp from jute plants per year.

But the mill had been producing well below its full capacity until 2009, when its operations were suspended for many reasons, including the conflicts with jute growers and machinery breakdowns.

The plant went back into service in 2012, with a new production line installed. Long An authorities also zoned 10,000 hectare land plots to grow jute plants to supply raw materials to the pulp mill.

But the new machinery repeatedly malfunctioned while the plant could only manage to source 1,000 hectares of jute plants for its production.

The full story is available at: tuoitrenews.vn.

SOURCE: TUOITRENEWS