By Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen
Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) — Vietnam will tighten surveillance of companies’ production after suspending operations of Vedan Vietnam Co. a Hong Kong-invested monosodium glutamate maker, on environmental faults, the government’s Web site said.
“Given the lessons learned from Vedan’s environmental violations, which caused serious consequences, the Prime Minister requested heads of ministries and provinces not to lose control of environmental protection,” the statement said. “We must make sure the next generations don’t pay for this.”
Foreign-investment commitments to Vietnam increased almost fivefold in the first nine months, leading to increased monitoring of factories’ activities in rural areas.
The government earlier this month suspended Vedan’s operations and ordered the company to pay 127.3 billion dong ($7.7 million) by Nov. 6 for improperly discharging effluent and chemicals into a river. Vedan’s Vietnam unit accounted for half of Hong Kong-based Vedan International Holdings Ltd.’s revenue last year, according to Bloomberg data.
The government will use the money paid by Vedan to clean up the Thi Vai river in southern Vietnam, according to today’s statement. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also asked ministries to tighten environmental-protection regulations if necessary, the statement said.
Miwon Vietnam Co., a unit of Seoul-based Daesang Holdings Co., was inspected by environmental-protection authorities this month, Vietnam News Agency reported Oct. 8. The monosodium- glutamate maker is based in the northern province of Phu Tho.
Local authorities have proposed the government suspend the operations of Miwon’s drainage system, which was found to be releasing untreated waste water into a river near Hanoi, the report said. The inspection came after complaints from local residents about health problems and signs of air and water pollution in the area around the factory, VNA said.