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Policies needed to encourage investment in waste-to-energy

A waste-to-energy plant in Sóc Sơn District, Hà Nội. Việt Nam needed to develop policies to encourage investments in waste-to-energy. – VNA/VNS Photo Ngọc Hà

HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam needed to develop policies to encourage investments in waste-to-energy, also called bioenergy, which would significantly contribute to protecting the environment, experts have said.

Trần Viết Ngãi, President of the Việt Nam Energy Association, said the huge volume of waste produced each day was a burden. If the trash that would otherwise go to a landfill was burned to churn out electricity, it would bring a number of benefits.

Generating energy from waste was another source of clean energy at a reasonable cost and would contribute to protecting the environment, Ngãi said.

A huge volume of waste is dumped every day in Việt Nam but energy-from-waste had not caught on across the country.

The latest Ministry of Industry and Trade report showed that about 70,000 tonnes of daily waste is dumped into the environment every day, 10 per cent of which came from Hà Nội and HCM City. About 85 per cent of waste in Việt Nam is simply dumped into landfill sites, which created the risks of causing pollution while it was also a waste not to burn it to create energy.

According to the Việt Nam Energy Association, waste-to-energy technology is widely used in many countries.

Recently, Việt Nam has seen the development of several waste-to-energy projects such as the Sóc Sơn, Phú Thọ, VIETSTAR, Thanh Hóa, Thái Bình and Hải Phòng bioenergy plants.

Hoàng Mạnh Hà from Power Engineering Consulting Joint Stock Company 1 (PECC1) said there were around 1,000 waste-to-power plants in the world, with 38 per cent in Europe, 24 per cent in Japan, 19 per cent in the US and 15 per cent in east Asia.

Hà said that many investors were showing a growing interest in developing bioenergy in Việt Nam, especially in major cities where huge volumes of waste were dumped daily.

Chen Wei, general director of EB Environment Energy Company Limited which operates the Cần Thơ waste-to-energy plant, told Việt Nam News Agency that one year in operation, the plant treated about 1,750,000 tonnes of waste to create 53.2 million kWh in total. Everyday, it treated 400 tonnes ofwaste on average, or 70 per cent of the city’s trash.

Under the renewable energy development strategy by 2030 with a vision to 2050, VIệt Nam targets to increase the percentage of urban solid waste used for energy to 30 per cent in 2020 and nearly 70 per cent in 2030. By 2050, all urban solid waste would be used to generate electricity.

Experts said waste-to-energy plants required huge investment capital, which together with low electricity generation capacity to the national power grid made the payback period amount to up to 20 years.

According to Phạm Nguyên Hùng, PECC1’s general director, there was a lack of detailed instructions about adding waste-to-energy projects to the country’s power development planning, which made it difficult to invest in bioenergy.

Việt Nam needed to issue detailed policies to encourage investments in bioenergy, including policies about power buying prices and details about waste treatment standards to attract investors. — VNS

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