10:43 | 09/10/2017 Science - Technology
(VEN) - The Vietnamese textile and garment industry annually spends an average of US$3 billion on energy, which is part of the reason products of domestic textile and garment businesses are less competitive than those of their rivals.
Vu Duc Giang, secretary general of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), says high production cost is a weakness of Vietnamese textile and garment enterprises. In addition to objective causes for higher costs, the industry’s production technology is also to blame. Many enterprises are still using old and energy inefficient equipment and machinery. For example, half of all knitting and dyeing equipment in the industry was procured before 1996.
According to a VITAS representative, automatic, energy efficient technology application has become a necessity in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The awareness of enterprises regarding the importance of energy efficient technology needs to be improved to reduce production costs.
Data from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) show that energy costs account for about 15 percent of Vietnamese businesses’ total production costs.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam has assessed that the application of low emission and energy efficient technology could reduce 30 percent of textile and garment enterprises’ production costs, which translates into annual savings of US$1 billion for the domestic textile and garment industry.
Speaking at a recent seminar on “Technical assistance for low emission technology application for Vietnamese textile and garment enterprises”, Christopher Abrams, director of the USAID’s Environment and Social Development Office, said the world textile and garment industry is developing very strongly, and the use of green, clean and renewable energy technology is becoming indispensable.
The USAID wishes to continue working with VITAS to promote financially and energy efficient solutions that can help textile and garment enterprises reduce energy cost, increase business and environmental efficiency, and improve product sustainability, Abrams said.
The USAID is assisting Vietnam to develop a policy framework on encouraging development of low emission solutions and public-private investment in renewable energy development and industrial energy use.
Nguyen Thanh Ha of USAID said textile and garment enterprises make different product lines and consume various types of energy, such as coal, pressed gas, and electricity. The low emission program will enable enterprises to approach advanced and renewable energy technology, and or equipment that can be used to generate energy by using the industry’s wastes.
Vu Duc Giang, secretary general of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), says enterprises need to change their thinking about energy efficiency and its implications for production cost savings, as the electricity cost in Vietnam is twice that in some other countries in the region.