HANOI, Vietnam – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered a halt to work on a major steel plant, citing environmental and other concerns.
The Vietnam-based Hoa Sen Group last year announced plans to build a $10.6 billion complex with an annual capacity of 16 million tons of steel.
A government statement Monday called for further studies on the potential environmental impact of the project, and its economic feasibility.
It cited risks of a disaster like the chemical spill last year during a test run at another steel complex, built by Taiwan's Formosa Plastic Group, that devastated fisheries, tourism and the economies of four central provinces.
Formosa Plastic paid $500 million in compensation for the accident, considered Vietnam's worst environmental disaster.
Economic concerns are another factor, given the glut in world steel supplies.