Vietnam seeks to deal with solid waste by turning it into power

07:00 | 26/10/2021 Environment

(VEN) - Localities seeking private investment for waste treatment processes are hopeful about waste-to-energy technology but encountering many hurdles in implementing such models.

Great potential

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, about 71 percent of domestic solid waste is treated mainly by landfilling technology, only 16 percent are treated at compost processing facilities and 13 percent by incineration, combined with energy recovery.

But the waste-to-energy technology widely used in European countries and Japan, helping reduce environmental pollution and also recover energy, is still limited in Vietnam.

The Hoang Mai waste treatment plant in Nghe An Province

Apart from some waste-to-energy plants that have already become operational in Ha Nam, Can Tho and Quang Binh, many localities have also stepped up investment procedures to build incinerators, such as the Vinh Tan waste-to-energy plant in Dong Nai Province with a capacity of 600 tonnes/day and power generating capacity of 30MW; the Soc Son waste-to-energy plant in Hanoi, with capacity 4,000 tonnes/day, and power generating capacity of 75MW; and some other similar plants in Phu Tho Province, Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Duong Province. However, most of these projects are having problems related to investment procedures, or remain draft projects.

Inappropriate policies

General Director of the Power Engineering Consulting Joint Stock Company 1 (PECC1) Pham Nguyen Hung said that building a modern waste-to-energy plant technology requires a large investment. In addition, businesses face many barriers stemming from inappropriate state policies.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Dinh Trong, Chair and CEO of T-Tech Vietnam Technology Group Joint Stock Company said that no matter what type of technology is used, the power efficiency of the waste-to-energy plants is small, with the highest reaching only 30 percent. Because the electricity capacity generated on the national grid will also be small, the payback time of these projects could last 10 to 20 years. Therefore, attracting investors in this filed will be hard without incentive policies.

Another difficulty is the purchasing prices for waste-to-energy projects. A 2015 directive by the Ministry of Industry and Trade stipulated that all electricity output of this kind can be sold to the power industry. However, the new electricity purchase prices only apply to projects that burn solid waste directly and to projects that burn gas recovered from waste landfills. Currently, there are many new technologies in the waste-to-energy field, but there is no regulation yet on electricity purchasing prices for these new technologies.

Due to difficulties in construction investment, land tax, electricity purchasing prices, and incentive policies,

many waste-to-energy projects have not yet been implemented.

Thu Huong