Following rumors that VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Company would acquire a stake in Formosa Plastics Group’s steel plant in Vietnam, the airline’s Managing Director Luu Duc Khanh denied that such an investment would be made, Vietnam Biz reported.
Earlier in the week, Formosa Plastics said that it was still seeking partners for the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp. plant expansion in the Vung Ang Economic Zone. The company pledged to invest US$1 billion in two stages into the expansion and improvement of its plant that has come under harsh criticism for causing an environmental catastrophe in April last year. The first phase with an investment of US$500 million has already been completed.
The plant had been inactive for several months due to the toxic spill that polluted more than 200 km of coastline, devastating fishing and tourism industries. The company was forced to pay more than US$500 million in compensation and the plant only reopened in May this year following inspections to ensure there would be no further pollution.
The Commercial Times reported on Tuesday that VietJet had been invited to take a 4-5% stake in the second phase of the project. The inclusion of VietJet would have been given Formosa Plastics a local connection in Vietnam to offset the criticism of its operations.
Luu said that the rumors were unfounded that the company would focus solely on aviation.
Taiwan’s China Steel Corp. and Japan-based JFE Steel Corp. each hold a stake in the steel plant. Formosa Plastics’ four subsidiaries hold a 50% stake in the plant.
Following the expansion, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel would be the largest steel mill in the ASEAN region.