12 May 2010

New Caledonia's SLN upsets residents with foul smell

1:27 pm on 12 May 2010

The operators of New Caledonia's nickel smelter have been asked to stop producing the foul smelling emissions which upset residents in Noumea.

The SLN nickel company has stockpiled thousands of tonnes of fuel which contains hydrogen sulfide.

Once there is a breeze, the smell affects many neighbourhoods, with many people complaining about breathing difficulties.

The vice-president of the southern province, Philippe Michel, has expressed his exasperation over SLN's inaction, saying the company is not up to it to deal with the problem.

He has given SLN three days to neutralise the smell.

SLN, which is the territory's main export revenue earner, has said the emissions were diluted and the substances are not dangerous.