Business

Lynas residue storage site adheres to international standards; experts approve

The plant in Gebeng, outside the Kuantan town centre.

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – January 31, 2020: Rare-earth producer Lynas Corporation has refuted a claim that Bukit Ketam, which is about 32 kilometres north of Kuantan, was ill-suited for storing its water-leached purification (WLP) residue.

According to the company, experts have assessed Bukit Ketam and agreed that it is suitable for the purpose.

Lynas had announced the location of storage site yesterday, a move decided by the government as one of the conditions for its operating licence to be extended to March 3.

The contractor which will manage the storage facility is Gading Senggara Sdn. Bhd., a government-appointed concessionaire for waste disposal in the east coast of the peninsular.

“The site screening for the PDF (permanent depository facility) has been conducted in accordance with International Best Practice principles prescribed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and by regulatory authorities.

“A number of criteria have already been analysed and tested by experts, including any potential effect on water. These assessments have been used to identify candidate sites and based on these assessments, the site at Bukit Ketam was found to be suitable,” said a Lynas statement today.

Earlier today, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh – a staunch critic of Lynas – claimed that having the PDF at the site will jeopardise the water quality for residents of Kuantan because Bukit Ketam sits nearby the water catchment area in Bukit Kuantan.

She insisted for Lynas to produce an environmental impact assessment report concerning the construction of the PDF.

The company, however, pointed out that it was only adhering to the licence renewal conditions set by the federal government last August, that the site of its PDF must be consented by the corresponding state government, which Pahang has done.

“Prior to construction of the storage facility, further work will be undertaken in accordance with international guidelines and regulatory requirements,” says Lynas.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.