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Formosa Postpones Opening of Ha Tinh Steel Mill

Formosa Plastics Group has postponed the scheduled operation date of its Ha Tinh steel mill indefinitely.

The parent company behind Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation confirmed the news on Wednesday, reports VnExpress. Vice President Chang Fu-ning of Formosa told media outlets the steel mill's June 25 start date had been delayed, and no new date has been set.

Since April, Formosa has been mired in a series of controversies, namely a suspected link to central Vietnam's mass fish die-off. Though government officials announced in late April that they had found no conclusive link between the steel mill and the death of tons of fish in the East Sea, local authorities have kept a close eye on the company's facility in Vung Ang economic zone, monitoring its wastewater discharge and looking into the firm's tax records.

As a result of the latter, authorities are requiring Formosa to pay VND 1.55 trillion (US$70 million) in back taxes, reports Dan Tri. In response to these charges, Fu-ning told reporters that Formosa has been in contact with the Ministry of Finance regarding the alleged tax evasion and is hoping to resolve the issue soon.

Vietnamese officials also informed the media that Formosa's application to begin operations is still pending.

The steel mill began construction in 2013 and is expected to add a port and a power plant to its facilities by 2020. It is Taiwan's first steel furnace investment project in an overseas market.

[Photo via Ha Tinh Economic Management Board]

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