Holcim cement plant to take toxic Ha Long oil

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Vietnam: Authorities in the northern province of Quang Ninh will remove 7000L of toxic oil from the edge of the Ha Long Bay in October 2014 and dispose of it at Holcim's cement plant in Mekong Delta. According to local media, the plant is the only facility in the country with the required technology.

The oil is contaminated with PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), a chemical group that associated with endocrine disruption and neurotoxicity and an illegal substance in Vietnam. PCBs are also carcinogenic.

The oil was imported by the state-owned Cuu Long Company in old transformers that were purchased in South Korea in November 2007. Quang Ninh officials fined Cuu Long for importing the machines in 2008 and ordered the company to return the transformers, which were intended for use in the construction of a thermal power plant. However, the exporter refused to take them back. The oil idled in the rusting devices, which sat covered in canvas at Cai Lan Port on the edge of the UNESCO world heritage site until the transformers began to leak.

Last modified on 08 October 2014

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