Wanted: Investors for wastewater treatment in IZs

08:33 | 07/11/2017 Local Industry

(VEN) - Hai Duong Province just north of Hanoi has 33 industrial zones for small and medium enterprises (IZs), which have attracted 350 projects with total registered capital of over VND8 trillion. With an average occupancy rate of 65.66 percent, IZs have created jobs for more than 60,000 employees.

investors for wastewater treatment in izs

However, only two of the IZs - Luong Dien and Ba Hang -have infrastructure investors, and none of the IZs has centralized wastewater treatment systems. Environmental impact assessment reports have been approved for only three IZs, while various reports have described the damage caused by polluted wastewater freely discharged into irrigation canals.

Hai Duong is not alone. According to the Pollution Control Department under the Vietnam Environment Administration, only three to five percent of the 615 operational IZs in Vietnam have invested in central wastewater treatment systems. The remainder let their tenants treat their wastewater or discharge it directly into the environment.

A recent inspection by the municipal People’s Committee in Hanoi showed that 19 out of 43 IZs in the Vietnamese capital do not have specialized facilities for wastewater treatment.

According to the Hai Duong Department of Industry and Trade, centralized wastewater treatment systems require large investment capital, while local budgets and investors’ financial capacity remain limited. In addition, investment attraction mechanisms in trade and production activities in IZs are not attractive to investors.

Recently adopted guidelines (Decree 68/2017/ND-CP) on IC management do not address all aspects of IZ operation. For example, the decree does not clearly define the responsibility of state management in IZ operations.

To address the problem, the Hai Duong Department of Industry and Trade has asked management agencies to study, propose, amend and promulgate appropriate legal documents clearly stipulating the functions, tasks and powers of the Ministry and provincial departments of industry and trade in management and development of IZs.

In industrial parks, the situation is much better - some 70 percent have already built concentrated wastewater treatment systems. The relatively high number reflects the fact that infrastructure developers are generally obliged to construct concentrated wastewater collection and treatment systems before the parks are authorized to operate.

Hai Linh