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Ash & slag from thermal power plants threatens Ha Long Bay

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The seven million tons of ash and slag produced by the thermal power plants in Quang Ninh province are harming the environment and threatening Ha Long and Bai Tu Long Bays.

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There are seven coal-fired thermopower plants in Quang Ninh with total designed capacity of 4,150 MW, which generate 16 percent of the country’s total electricity output. Of these, only two plants, Mao Khe in Dong Trieu Town and Mong Duong in Cam Pha City, are located far from residential quarters.

Under the power development plan approved by the Prime Minister, there would be two more thermal power plants in the province by 2020.

Most of the plants are situated in coastal areas with some plants close to the shores of Ha Long and Bai Tu Long Bays, thus causing pollution to the sea. Cam Pha City alone has four plants, one cement plant and many dumping grounds where coal residue  gathers.

The Cam Pha Plant developed by Vinacomin includes two electricity generation units with the total capacity of 600 MW. The dumping ground of the plant, covering an area of 34 hectares, is located next to the plant. With the ash amount of 1 million tons per annum, the dumping ground has become nearly full after seven years of operation.

As for Mong Duong 1 Plant, the dumping ground has the capacity of 2.25 million cubic meters, while 1.8 cubic meters have been used. A representative of Mong Duong said the dumping ground would be full in eight months.

He said that Mong Duong 1 and Mong Duong 2 Plants share some common items, so if Mong Duong 1 has to close down because of the dumping ground overloading, Mong Duong 2 will also have to halt its operation.

Meanwhile, under the PM decision No 1696 dated September 23, 2014 and No 452 dated April 12, 2017, the dumping grounds of thermal power plants will be designed for two-year production. The plants will not receive more land for ash-containing tanks. This will put pressure on the plants’ ash treatment.

A senior executive of Cam Pha Plant said the plant has signed contracts on selling ash & slag to two enterprises which will use the ash & slag as material for cement production. However, the volume that the two enterprises have bought has been modest.

Meanwhile, Mong Duong Plant has asked for permission to build a new dumping ground, but it has not received approval.

Deputy director of the Quang Ninh provincial environment department Pham Van Cuong said the department would instruct Cam Pha and Mong Duong to apply necessary measures to prevent ash & slag from drifting out to the environment, especially Bai Tu Long Bay.



Source: VietNamNet

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