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Friday, February 3, 2023

U.S. announces new contract for Bien Hoa airbase dioxin clean-up project

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced a new contract worth some US$29 million to begin the next stage of the dioxin clean-up project at the Bien Hoa Air Base.

USAID issued the four-year contract for civil works to Vietnamese firm VINA E&C Investment and Construction JSC (VINA E&C). Under the contract, VINA E&C will complete the excavation of contaminated soil on the air base and prepare it for treatment.

“This announcement represents the United States’ commitment to our partnership with Vietnam,” said USAID Vietnam Mission Director Aler Grubbs.

“This contract will complete critical preparatory work, paving the way for the treatment phase of the project. This marks the largest contract yet by USAID to a local Vietnamese organization, as we make a concerted effort to build Vietnamese expertise in this nascent area of environmental health and safety.”

Vu Van Liem, general director of VINA E&C, said, “It is an honor to be selected to lead the next phase of the joint cooperative project between the U.S. and Vietnam governments to remediate dioxin at the Bien Hoa Air Base. We look forward to applying our specialized expertise to meet the project’s high safety and health requirements and technical specifications and contribute to the project’s overall success.”

USAID is working with the Ministry of National Defense to remediate approximately 500,000 cubic meters of dioxin-contaminated soil and sediment on and around the Bien Hoa Air Base.

USAID had previously completed the clean-up of dioxin contamination at the Danang Airport in 2018. The Bien Hoa clean-up effort involves nearly four times the volume of soil as the Danang Airport clean-up.

USAID and the Ministry of National Defense launched the Bien Hoa project in April 2019. In June 2022, USAID completed the remediation of the first parcel of land, a community lake located outside Gate 2. The project is expected to take the ministry and the U.S. Government 10 years and cost an estimated US$450 million. To date, the U.S. Government’s contribution is US$163.25 million out of a total expected contribution of US$300 million.

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