Waste to energy - outlook
for energy and environment sectors
Currently in Vietnam, it is difficult to develop large-scale hydropower, however, small-scale hydropower occupy land, forests and cause lots of impact on the environment. While Biomass, solar and wind energy are still underdeveloped, waste-to-energy becoming potential source for a system of national power.
Waste - abundant source for energy
According to statistics, the total amount of municipal solid waste in Vietnam approximately 12.8 million tons per year. It is forecasted that by 2015 this figure will be about 13.5 million tons per year, and 2020 it will be 22 million tons per year. Hanoi alone produces 7,000-8,000 tons per day in the period 2015-2020, Ho Chi Minh City (10.000-12.000 tons/day), Hai Phong and Dong Nai (5,000-6,000 tons /day). This will be stable sources for power plant with capacity of 300 tons/day, equivalent to nearly 350mW output power.
However, at this time, Vietnam has an industrial waste treatment system project with capacity of 75 tons/day in the Nam Son waste treatment complex in Hanoi which is funded by the Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The system can generate electricity with a capacity of 1,930kW, scheduled for completion in late 2014. Earlier, in 2006, Ho Chi Minh City brought the Go Cat waste treatment plant with a capacity of 2.4 MW into operation, however, the amount of electricity produced is very small.
Mr. Le Anh Tung, Chairman of Vietnam Ecotech Company said that in Vietnam municipal solid waste did not sort from the source, organic substance is up to more than 60%. Water content in waste ranges from 50 to 55%. Therefore, the heating value of solid waste is very low, only from 1200 to 1500 kcal / kg. This is one of the biggest problems for the development of waste-to-energy plant in Vietnam. Clearly, the current solid waste management system is unsatisfactory and needs to be addressed in a dire way. In particular, to make the waste classification, it is necessary to reduce moisture in the waste and select the type of high calorific value waste.
In addition, Mr. Nguyen Duc Cuong, director of the Center for Renewable Energy under the Energy Institute (Ministry of Industry and Trade) said that the biomass electricity prices remain low, so that the call for investment in renewable energy projects is very difficult. In addition, investors are also worried about the licensing procedure, because 2 years are so long to prepare procedures for the renewable energy project. In addition, enterprises are facing difficulties in land lease policy.
Prospects for development and cooperation
Vietnam government has realized the effect of waste in energy production and environmental protection. Vietnam has been trying to build and develop waste-to-energy in the near future. Accordingly, in 2014, the Prime Minister will issue a decision on the "mechanism to support the development of waste-to-energy projects in Vietnam". In particular, the expected electricity price at the point of delivery for the direct burning of solid waste projects is 2,160 VND/kWh (equivalent to 10.05 USD/kWh). This price will help investors have more profits. Therefore, it is the first step to encourage the development of this type of power in Vietnam.
At the seminar “Waste-to-energy technology: co-operative opportunities and prospects” which was held in Hanoi recently, Malaysia’s Malakoff cooperation and Germany’s Oschatz, Eurec, CPP co-operation expressed their desire to invest and develop waste-to-energy projects in Vietnam.
Mr. Le Anh Tung, Chairman of Ecotech company said that his company and other businesses were willing to share their experience in this field. To approach waste-to-energy technology, Ecotech company proposed to build three projects in Hanoi, Dong Nai and Ba Ria - Vung Tau. According to him, Vietnam should choose appropriate technology in order to satisfy economic efficiency and protect environment as well.