Borealis suspends contract with contractor and closes controversial site for 3 days
Borealis is suspending its contract with the contractor IREM-Ponticelli and will temporarily halt the controversial site in Kallo. According to VRT NWS, the chemical company says so in a press release on Wednesday.
Two days ago, 55 suspected victims of human trafficking were discovered on the construction site of the large plastic factory of the chemical company in Kallo, Flanders. The victims are young men from the Philippines and Bangladesh.
Borealis yesterday denied all involvement and referred to the French-Italian contractor IREM-Ponticelli. IREM-Ponticelli denied in a press release earlier today that the company is guilty of human trafficking.
"Following the recent developments and news reports of alleged malpractice by one of its contractors on the new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in Kallo, Borealis has decided to implement a three-day shutdown at the construction site," the company now reports in a press release.
"In addition, the contract with IREM-Ponticelli, the contractor will be suspended with immediate effect and until further notice." Borealis will halt work on the construction site in Kallo for three days "in order to continue to guarantee the safety of all people working there and to allow more time to investigate the matter".
Earlier today, Flemish minister of Economy and Employment Jo Brouns (CD&V) already announced that the Flemish social inspection will investigate the Flemish work permits of 314 other foreigners working at the Borealis construction site in the port of Antwerp.
© BELGA PHOTO YORICK JANSENS