Sollac accused of selling toxic waste to Belgium

18th September 2008, Comments 0 comments

Sollac, part of the ArcelorMittal group, allegedly shipped tonnes of toxic waste to Belgium and sold them as fuel for super-tankers.

18 September 2008

NORD -- French judicial authorities have launched an investigation into the activities of Sollac, part of the ArcelorMittal group, who allegedly sold and shipped tonnes of toxic waste to Belgium.

The Sollac plant based in Dunkerque (Nord) processes naphthalene, a poisonous and carcinogenic substance that is produced when metal furnaces are cleaned and when coke is turned into tar.

Instead of using the services of a specialised company to make safe the toxic waste, Sollac is alleged to have stored it in a warehouse, from where it was shipped to Belgium to be sold as fuel for super-tankers.

It is believed that the illicit trade went on for some 11 years while Sollac continued receiving public money to assist in the safe disposal of toxic waste.

Sollac denies the claims and a company spokesman said: "The relevant authorities carried out checks and we sent our waste products to a specialised firm for treatment."

The French judicial authorities are currently looking for the middle-men that were involved in the toxic trade. They are believed to include a customs officer and representatives of several companies.

No one has been formally charged of the illegal disposal of toxic waste.

ArcelorMittal at Tilleur receives bomb threat
In a separate incident, the ArcelorMittal factory at Tilleur, near Liege received a bomb threat on Thursday morning. Local residents and workers at neighbouring factories were told to leave the area.

A man telephoned ArcelorMittal's Tilleur plant and said that there was a bomb in the factory.

Police and ArcelorMittal staff carried out a search of the factory, but found nothing.

People were allowed to return to their homes and workplaces just before midday.

The police are also looking for the man who phoned.

[ / Expatica]

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