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Vietnam, Japan Cooperating To Address Environmental Pollution

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
January 2019

As a result of strong economic growth in the current decade, Vietnam is facing severe environmental issues such as frequent flooding in the city caused by climate change, or solid waste treament. Taking action to reduce environmental pollution, especially poluttion in the big cities, are major challenges that the country is focusing its efforts on. 

To strengthen opperation between Vietnam and Japan in addressing and solving environmental issues in Vietnam, Vietnam-Japan Environment Week was held in January 11th, 2019. Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan expressed that Vietnam hopes to receive more active assistance from Japan and to learn more experience in solid waste management and seek suitable models.

Japanese Vice Minister of the Environment Takaaki Katsumata said Japan had experienced similar issues to Vietnam when its economy attained the rapid growth in the 1960s. Japanese government will support Vietnam in the field of environmental work through technical cooperation activities, technological transfers, and branching out technologies towards sustainable environment protection. 

Vietnam’s first waste-to-energy facility that applied advanced technology from Japan initiated operations in May 2017 in Nam Son Waste Treatment Complex, Soc Son District, Hanoi. The factory has the capacity of treating 75 tonnes of waste per day.

(Sources: Vietnam News; Nhan Dan; Vietnam Plus)

 

Vietnam Government Urges Treatment of Ashes, Cinders and Plasters

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
November 2018

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has recently assigned relevant agencies to implement measures to treat ashes, cinders and plasters at Vietam's thermal power plants, chemical plants and fertilizer plants so they could be recyled and used in construction. In particular, the Ministry of Construction (MoC) has been tasked with completing technical standards of using ash and cinder in construction and road surfaces.  According to the MoC, ash and cinder have high potential for usage in construction if they meet quality criteria for treatment.

Ash can be recycled in cement projects, helping consume between 6 and 8 million tonnes of ash per year. Hai also suggested working with thermal power plant investors to calculate the number of ash and cinders released as well as put forward waste treatment solutions, focusing on some pressing plants.

This recycling directive came about to due to an increasing amount of ashes and cinders released by thermal power plants, and are causing serious pollution and making waste treatment more difficult in industrial parks.

According to a report from Viet Nam News, Vietnam's Department of Industrial Safety and Environment, a department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, estimated that the country’s thermal power plants generated up to 12.2 million tonnes of coal ash in 2017, while treating only four million tonnes, meaning inventory rose to 8.2 million tonnes. In addition, the number of thermal plants in Viet Nam could rise from the current number of 19 to 43 by 2020.

As Vietnam currently has a low investment in recycling but welcomes massive industrialization, clearly, the government needs to set and enforce quality treatment standards and ramp up its treatment methods to avoid the danger of serious environmental issues. 

(Source: Viet Nam News)
 

Vietnam Sets Up Free Online Forestry Information Database

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
October 2018

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) of Vietnam announced on 18 October that it had set up the country's first fully integrated forestry information database. From 2009 to 2018, the Finnish Government has been supporting Vietnam in building the database - the Forest Management Information Systems Project (FORMIS). The project received a financial support of about 12 million euros (USD 14 million) from the Finnish Government, and is owned by the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), an agency under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Everyone has free online access to FORMIS at http://maps.vnforest.gov.vn/. The portal provides an updated national forest inventory data of all 60 provinces in Vietnam with forest coverage, poverty alleviation, results of forest protection efforts and data on payment for forest environmental services. With FORMIS, the Vietnamese government, local businesses, farmers, organizations engaged in environmental initiatives and other stakeholders, can obtain access to centralized and accurate information that will help in their decision making process and strategy for the sector. 

Ultimately, FORMIS aims to help reduce poverty by stregthening the management of forest resources, that will in turn lead to the sustainable use of timber and other forestry products. Wood-processing sub-sector is rapidly growing in the country, and in many provinces, plantation timber is the main long-term income of many farmers. In Vietnam, about 25 million people are living in or near forests, particularly in mountainous regions, with many of them poor and belonging to ethnic minority groups who depend on the forests, according to VNFOREST. 

(Sources: Embassy of Finland in Vietnam, Viet Nam News, Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST))
 

HCMC Calls For Investment In Waste To Power Project

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
September 2018

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Ho Chi Minh city is seeking approval from People’s Committee to call for domestic and foreign investors for a waste-burning power project. According to the proposal, the investor must commit to buy all new equipment and machinery and report serial numbers, product specifications and production life of all equipment to the city’s department. Another criteria is investors' commitment to training human resources to operate the projects.

The authority will prioritise investors who have experience in operating electricity generation projects with automation systems meeting the G7 standard, and classification systems for recycling waste before burning. In returns to the investment, investor will receive rental exemption for 11 years or a 70 per cent discount, import tax exemptions, and facilities support. Furthermore, the investors will earn US$21 for each 1,000 tonnes of garbages treated. 

HCMC collects 8,700 to 9,300 tonnes of solid waste per day, most of which ended up in the landfills of the city. 

(Source: Vietnam News)

JICA Funding Sustainable Development Projects In Vietnam

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
August 2018

Various sustainable development projects funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have been succesfully implemented in the central province of Quang Nam. These projects mostly focus on environment and tourism's infrastructure, which include improvement projects of water quality and ecosystem around the Japanese Bridge area in Hoi An, a popular tourism site and the sewerage system through the rehabilitation of the bridge canal.

Another project is a wastewater treatment plant with capacity of 2,000 cubic metres per day. The 65 km expressway which is worth USD 798.5 million is also officially put into operation this year.

The loan from JICA also brings along Japanese contractors to participate in the constructions as well as consultation. For example, the NGO Okinawa Citizens Recycling Movement (OCRM) and Naha City (Okinawa Prefecture, Japan) apply their Environmental Symbiosis model to all 13 communes in Hoi An. In addition, JICA has also dispatched Japanese volunteers for a two-year term to share experiences and support people at the grassroots level.

Sources: VietnamNews, Quang Nam News

Vietnam And France To Co-operate For Building Sustainable Smart cities

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
July 2018

The People’s Committee of HCM City and the Consulate General of France in HCM City recently joined a discussion on cooperation in building smart and sustainable cities via a business forum organised by Business France under the French Trade Commission in early July. Participants included French experts, leaders, senior managers and businesses in the urban development fields of architecture, transport, energy, waste management and water treatment.

At the event, the HCM City People’s Committee and the Consulate General of France signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation for developing a programme to manage air quality and address air pollution caused by traffic, and also cope with climate change, via research and technology transfer. The agreement is expected to help HCM City enhance its capacity to tackle air pollution, helping make the city a green, smart and sustainable city.

HCM City is the largest city in Vietnam by population, with an estimated population of more than 10 million. Through the The HCM City Smart City Initiative 2017-20, technology will be leveraged to help the City deal with problems such as rapid population growth and inadequate healthcare, education and transport services. The initiatives under the Project are expected to help improve public administration and enhance its capability to forecast and make long-term plans.

There are further plans for cooperation between Vietnam and France in the areas of transportation, housing, water supply and water treatment. France could share its technology in areas such as intelligent transport system, anti-flooding solutions, underground space planning and innovative construction materials.

(Sources: Vietnam News; Nhandan.org)

HCM City Plans To Treat 90% Of Wastewater By 2020

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
June 2018

The city administration authority of Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City in Vietnam is aiming to increase the percentage of water which is treated before release into rivers and canals to 90% by 2020. Currrently, only around 24% of the 1,750,000 cubic metres of wastewater being released is treated. 

The inadequacy of wastewater treatment and drainage system have caused serious problems to the city's infrastructure, as surface water quality of inland canals and rivers has been rapidly deteriorating, raising serious public health and environmental concerns. 

To address the problem, the authority plans to build 24 automatic water quality monitoring systems along the Saigon–Dong Nai River. The authority also continues to monitor wastewater treatment from industrial zones and parks. Any factories and industrial zones which discharges more than 1,000 cubic metres must have their own automatic measuring stations directly linked to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. 

In order to facilitate the target to treat 90% of of waste water for HCM City, ADB has approved a project with a loan worth USD 400 million to improve the urban wastewater treatment and draingage system. The planned outcome of this project is to increase amount of wastewater collection in key catchments.

(Source: Asian Development Bank, VietnamNews)

HCM City Seeks Investment For Waste-To-Energy Facilities

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
May 2018

HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment is seeking for funds to facilitate two waste-to-energy projects for solid waste and an industrial/hazardous waste treatment project, all of which will be located at Phuoc Hiep solid waste treatment complex. City officials will support potential investors with incentives such as 70 per cent reduction of land rent,  price support for energy pricing, support of loan interest and favourable tax policies. Several conferences and seminar have been held to attract investment into waste treatment sector since the first one late 2017. HCMC has recently approved a project implemented by an Australian company using plasma gasification and waste-to-energy technologies to treat solid waste. 

The city generates approximately 9,000 tonnes of solid waste everyday; up to 70% are buried. The city also handles other 1,500 tonnes of industrial waste, 374 tonnes of hazardous waste and 22 tonnes of medical waste every day. The new solid waste projects are expected to process 2,000 tonnes per day while the industrial/ hazardous project is expected to treat 200-500 tonnes per day. 

(Sources: VietnamNews, Mekong Eye)

Series of Wastewater Treatment Projects Are Planned In Ho Chi Minh City Until 2020

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
April 2018

Ho Chi Minh City is planning to treat up to 80% of the household wastewater by 2020, up from the current share of 10%. Currently, the city generates approximately 1.75 million cubic metres of domestic wastewater daily, while the treatment capacity stands at 171,000 cubic metres. Ho Chi Minh City now has only two treatment plants, which are located in Bình Hưng and Bình Hưng Hòa,. At some establishments, such as hospitals and service providers, wastewater is only partly treated before being discharged directly into lakes, canals and rivers, polluting them.

In response to this, the city will be implementing multiple solutions including the following projects:

  • The second phase of the Bình Hưng plant is being built to increase its capacity to 469,000 cubic metres per day, and is expected to be completed in 2019.
  • The first phase of the Tham Lương – Bến Cát Wastewater Treatment Plant with a capacity of 131,000 cubic metres per day is expected to go on stream by the end of this year.
  • The Suối Nhum Wastewater Treatment Plant in Linh Trung Ward, Thủ Đức District, with a capacity of 65,000 cubic metres per day is expected to start operating next year.
  • The city is also building a bio-treatment pond to treat the Ba Bò Canal, and it is expected to be ready by 2019. The treatment facility is part of the Ba Bò Canal improvement project started in 2010, and can treat 21,500 cubic metres of wastewater per day, mainly from Bình Dương Province collected through the Ba Bò Canal.
  • In 2019-20 the city plans to build four more plants: the Sài Gòn West Sewage Treatment Plant with a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres per day, the Tân Hóa - Lò Gốm plant with a capacity of 300,000 cubic metres, the Bình Tân plant in Bình Hưng Hòa with a capacity of 180,000 cubic metres, and North Sài Gòn 1 plant with a capacity of 170,000 cubic metres per day.

(Source: Viet Nam News)

Vietnam To Develop Largest Recycling Production Facility In South East Asia

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
March 2018

USA's GFSI-MHE Manufacturing of Texas LLC signed a memorandum of understanding with Minh Hung Group of Vietnam to build and operate a USD 50 million recycling production facility, which is set to become the largest in South East Asia. Located in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, the facility will be put into operation in 2019 and will manufacture plywood from  recycled composite (fibre glass).

Under the agreement, Minh Hung Group will provide the investment and commercial expertise to drive the project. Meanwhile, GFSI-MHE Manufacturing of Texas LLC will provide the technology, operational experience, and equipment for this process. 

According to statistics from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam discharges around 28.5 million tonnes of solid waste per year, most of which is buried in landfills. There are several polluted landfills due to the lack of an adequate collection system, leachate treatment, and recycling technologies.

Minh Hung Group is one of the top 500 biggest private enterprises in Vietnam, and is composed of group of companies that are in the large volume packaging industry and healthrelated products.

GFSI-MHE Manufacturing of Texas LLC is a company that recycles spent and damaged fibre glass wind turbine blades into a plywood and sheetrock substitute material at its large-scale manufacturing facility in the US.

(Sources: Vietnam Investment Review; Viet Nam News)
 

Opportunities In Ho Chi Minh City For Companies Involved In Waste Reduction

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
February 2018

Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Natural Resources and Environment has recently announced criterias for waste treatment bidders. Aside from reasonable pricing, qualified bidders should be able to process around 1,000 tonnes of solid waste per day, must not use more than 10 hectares of land per 1,000 tonnes of trash a day, and the bidder's processing facility must be able to yield 15-20 kW per tonne of waste. The bidders will be chosen by the end of 2018.

Currently, the City treats over 10,000 tonnes of waste daily which is expected to increase with rapid urbanization . With focus on treatment facilities for domestic, industrial and hazardous wastes, Ho Chi Minh City aims to reduce the amount of waste disposed by burying - from fifty percent in 2020 to 80% by 2025. 

In addition, with this goal of waste reduction, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning a "Public Private Partnership" for the creation of the largest waste water treatment installation in Ho Chi Minh City, was signed by the City with foreign companies CMI Environment, Balteau, and Golden Land Real Estate Investment JSC and local company DCA Cooperation Development JSC. The MOU has an investment that exceeds VND 12 trillion (USD 526.9 million). 

(Sources: Wallonia.be; Viet Nam News)

Vietnamese Government Implementing Its National Action Plan On Air Quality Control

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
January 2018

Vietnam’s air quality is among the worst in the world, ranking among the top ten countries for air pollution in the latest Environmental Performance Index by the World Economic Forum. According to this index, average exposure in Vietnam to PM2.5 was categorized as Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups. However, in the Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI), this level of PM2.5 was particularly concentrated in Vietnam's busiest city - Ho Chi Minh City.  PM2.5 is one of the particulates closely monitored in the world, as it is so fine that it can bypass the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs.

Traffic, construction and industrial activities are the main causes of air pollution in Vietnam. In response to this, the Vietnamese government launched in 2016 the National Action Plan on Air Quality Control by 2020. Between 2016 to 2020, the Action Plan aims to assess the real situation of dust pollution in cities, supervise greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the use of automatic air monitoring stations. It also points out that the country needs necessary legislation and regulations in setting up automatic industrial emission monitoring stations and granting licenses for factories discharging air waste. Vietnam's transport ministry will also help carry out the plan by controlling dusts from construction sites, road traffic, transportation of raw materials and waste, and complete the project of reducing road vehicle emissions.

(Sources: 2016 Environmental Performance Index; World Air Quality Index; Vietnamnet; Viet Nam News)

Ebara Delivers Energy-Saving Pumps To Filtration Plant In Vietnam

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
December 2017

The filtration plant of the public water supply company in Da Nang, Vietnam has received 9 energy-saving pumps from Ebara Vietnam Pump Company Limited, a branch of a leading Japanese manufacturer in environmental and industrial machinery. The pumps are expected to reduce the power consumption to about 2 million kWh annually. This is the first project involving intercity cooperation between a Vietnamese city, Da Nang, and a Japanese city, Yokohama, under the implementation of Y-PORT project (Yokohama Partnership of Resources and Technologies). The project is also considered as a joint effort of the Ministries of Environment of both countries, which are collaborating to reduce greenhouse gas emission by utilizing superior low carbon technologies.

Ebara has maintained a branch in Vietnam for more than 20 years and has provided more than 1,000 pumps for agriculture and irrigation, and for water supply and sewerage systems and flood countermeasures. The pumps delivered for this project were produced in its Vietnam plant which opened in May in 2016. The new plant provides integrated production systems from casting production to pump assembly and testing, in addition to the production of large pumps and pumps with diverse specifications.

(Source: Ebara; Da Nang Portal)

Vietnamese Wind Farm Seeks Project Management Services

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
November 2017

In October 2017, the Tra Vinh Province of Vietnam sought project management services from a Thai company that specializes in delivering project lifecycle certainty to renewable energy organizations. The project in question, an intertidal wind farm, will be one of the first commercial-scale wind farms in Vietnam and is expected to generate up to 144 MW.

Modern Energy Management (MEM), the Thai specialist will provide a project manager to foresee the initial development, ensure the project matures as planned and offers sufficient returns for investors. Climate Fund Managers, one of the investment groups for the project is positive about the project returns for their investors due to the Vietnamese government’s commitment to clean energy and the country’s strong presence of resources, coupled with MEM’s knowledge of the renewable energy market in South East Asia.

(Source: Wind Power Engineering Development)

The Largest 210 MW Solar Power Project In Vietnam

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
October 2017

USAID and Sao Mai Group (a local multi-sectoral company based in An Giang province) have signed a Letter of Support, under which USAID through its Low Emission Energy Program for Vietnam (V- LEEP) will provide technical assistance to help Sao Mai Group develop Vietnam’s first large utility-scale solar project. The project is a 210 megawatt solar farm in Tinh Bien district with a total value of US$ 193.35 million. This is the first solar power project using polycrystalline modules implemented by the worldwide leading EPC. The project will be implemented in four phases as: phase 1 – 46 MW, phase 2 – 58 MW, phase 3 – 44 MW and phase 4 – 62MW and completed in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively. V-LEEP will bring key players in government, engineering and finance together to facilitate a successful project.

Vietnam has tremendous potential solar energy resources and its Power Development Plan calls for 20,000 megawatts of renewable energy by 2030. This transition in the energy sector creates a new market for modern technologies as well as supportive business opportunities.

(Source: USAID)

Hanoi In Need Of Solid Waste Treatment Systems

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
September 2017

Hanoi authorities are increasingly alarmed at its looming environmental issues. The city generates 26.5 tons of medical waste per day, as well as 6,000 tons of solid waste daily, of which 95% is buried. Lacking both waste collection units and solid waste treatment facilities, it is now calling on enterprises to invest in technologies to treat and recycle waste to turn waste into useful materials. The city's People Council predicts that Hanoi will need 17 concentrated waste treatment zones by 2020, however, execution and construction has been slow, and only 8 are actively operating. Thus, a huge portion of the waste remains untreated and burial of waste remains the major treatment method used in Hanoi.

The biggest problems in domestic solid waste treatment in Vietnam are that comprehensive measures are not taken, with authorities often turning a blind eye to illegally dumped waste; and waste is not sorted at source and recycled to reduce the volume of buried waste. Construction waste in Hanoi, for example, has reached 3,000 tons a day, and is mostly buried or used for leveling depressed areas.

To address its issues, Hanoi is starting a high-tech waste treatment facility with Japanese and European standard in October with a capacity of 4,000 tonnes per day. The city is encouraging businesses to import crushers in order to recycle construction waste by turning them into sand.

(Sources: Vietnamnews; Vietnam Net Bridge)

GE Renewable Energy Formalized Investment In Vietnam’s Wind Project

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
August 2017

Following the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade in developing wind energy by 2025 in Vietnam, General Electric (GE) announced their collaboration worth VND 45.8 trillion (USD 2 billion) with Mainstream Renewable Power (Ireland) and Phu Cuong Group (Vietnam) to build, develop and operate the 800-megawatt (MW) Phu Cuong Wind Farm in the Soc Trang province of Vietnam.

The investment is divided into two phases, with the first phase to be completed in 2018. This wind farm will be Vietnam's largest wind farm, with a total capacity of 200 megawatts at the first stage. Wind turbines and equipment will be facilitated by GE Hai Phong. This collaboration also supports Vietnam's National Target Program to respond climate change.

Currently, Vietnam's sources of electricity are generated from coal and hydropower. However, the rapid increase in industrial and consumer demands urge the Vietnamese government to seek, develop and produce electricity from renewable energy sources, targeting 10% renewables by 2030. Besides GE, there are investors from other countries such as Korea who also express their interest in developing wind power projects in Vietnam.

(Source: Vietnam Electricity Group)

Royal Haskoningdhv Wins Wastewater Contract In Vietnam

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
July 2017

Royal HaskoningDHV in Vietnam has signed a € 9.5 million contract with the Ba Ria Vung Tau Urban Sewerage and Development Company (BUSADCO) in order to implement a complete wastewater solution for more than 175,000 residents of Phu My New Urban near Ho Chi Minh City. The project will deliver sanitation for residents and industries whose wastewater is currently discharged untreated, resulting in high levels of environmental pollution. The Dutch Government is financing the project as part of its Facility for Infrastructure Development (ORIO programme) in developing countries. Expected to be completed by December 2019, the wastewater solution is the third ORIO funded project in Vietnam that Royal HaskoningDHV will implement. Altogether, Royal HaskoningDHV’s three projects will improve the living conditions of some 400,000 citizens. The project also adds to the company’s growing number of environmental improvement schemes in Vietnam, where ten projects are ongoing.

(Source: www.waterwastewaterasia.com)

The Formosa Steel Pollution To Date

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
June 2017

The pollution by Taiwanese steel plant, Formosa Steel, first reported in April 2016 was the worst environmental disaster in Vietnam. It has affected sea life and the livelihoods of local fishermen. Formosa Steel was fined USD 500 million for the waste dump in June 2016. In addition, some of the government officials were being fired and/or demoted due to failure to oversee the Formosa project. The government has agreed to let Formosa Steel re-operate on trial basis in late May 2017 as it has fulfilled all the environment requirements.

(Sources: VN Express International, Vietnam News)

Deep Fishing Banned

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
May 2017

Deep-fishing ban at the Formosa spill area continues a year after the toxic waste disaster. The Ministry of Health advised the fishermen from the affected provinces to wait until there is a confirmation that the aquatic resources from the waters are safe for consumption. The government also discourages the fishermen from fishing within 20 miles from the shore. Formosa Steel, a Taiwanese steel manufacturer discharge toxic waste and caused massive deaths of fishes and other marine life. They were fined USD 500 million in compensation.

(Sources: Tuoi Tre News, Vietnam News)

Vietnam’s Air Quality

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
April 2017

Vietnam has been monitoring its air quality from 2011 and 2015 and found out that more than 50% of the monitored days reflected low air quality. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also constantly issued warnings about Vietnam as the most air polluted country in the Asia-Pacific region.

The quality of air is getting worse in villages with recycling plants. Even with the increase of total forest coverage, forest quality fails to meet the standard. The government feels that the country’s low air quality is because environmental regulations have not been fully observed and updated. Early notifications must be given for environmental inspections and this gives time for offenders to change their operations and thus not able to detect any offense.

(Sources: Vietnam Net Bridge, Vietnam News)

Duong River Surface Water Treatment Plant

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
March 2017

Duong River Surface Water Treatment Plant held its groundbreaking ceremony on March 9, 2017 in Phu Dong Commune, Gia Lam District, Hanoi. The plant covers an area of 62-hectare and a capacity of 300,000 cubic meters of water, will cut water shortage in Hanoi by 2020 and it will be developed in three phases.

Upon completion in 2020, the water treatment plant aims to provide clean water for about 3 million people in 8 districts of Hanoi and Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces. This project will assist in speeding up urbanization in Hanoi and its neighbouring provinces and improve living quality of the people.

This is an investment by Vietnam-Oman Investment (VOI). VOI is established in 2008 as a joint venture between the State Government Reserve Fund (SGRF) of Oman and the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) of Vietnam.

(Sources: Tuoitre News, Vietnam Investment Review)

Water Discharge In Vietnam

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
February 2017

With the rise in urban population and the development of industrial park, Vietnam will need to improve its water supply and drainage systems. Currently, the urban water drainage facilities are not comprehensive as they are built in different times with no coordinated planning. Some of the sewer systems are old and not big enough, resulting in poor drainage capacity. There are only 37 wastewater treatment plants in urban cities which are only able to discharge 12-13% of the total amount of wastewater.

The government has been implementing ways to improve the issue. In 2014, the government issued Decree 80/2014 to encourage the re-use of rainwater. The government will provide loans for those who would want to invest in such equipment and technologies. The Ministry of Construction is collaborating with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to enhance the country’s wastewater treatment systems. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is also promoting projects on improving water environments in cities.

(Sources: Vietnam News, Vietnam Net Bridge)

Duong River Surface Water Treatment Plant

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
January 2017

Vietnam’s pollution issues in 2016 has many effects on the country and will be a threat to country’s future foreign direct investment and also the country’s GDP. Ironically the environmental pollution is believed to be caused by foreign investment projects. An example is the famous, the toxic discharge environmental disaster by the Taiwanese steel company, Formosa that caused imbalance in the marine ecosystem and affected livelihoods of the locals as many people became unemployed. This disaster has resulted in damage worth 0.3% of Vietnam’s GDP.

Adversely, with Vietnam’s environmental issues this could also discourage foreign investors to invest further in Vietnam. According to Dragon Capital (Vietnam based financial institution), its largest investor has decided to leave Vietnam due to the lack of policies and compelling actions in protecting the environment.

(Sources: Vietnam Breaking News, Vietnam Net Bridge)

 

Vietnam Suffers 50 Major Toxic Waste Scandals In 2016

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
December 2016

Vietnamese enforcement agencies reported 50 illegal discharges of toxic waste in 2016, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The illicit dumping of toxic waste into Vietnam's waterways is a particularly severe issue, with businesses in the cement, steel, fertilizer, and mining industries exploiting natural resources and causing the majority of environmental incidents.

Vietnam Environment Administration is finalizing the procedures to penalize the polluters. Total outstanding fines are estimated at VND132 billion (USD 5.8 million).  According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), violations of the country's environmental regulations were recorded at some 80% of industrial parks. Foreign-invested firms accounted for 60% of companies caught discharging waste that exceeds the allowable standards, according to the GSO.

The Formosa fish kill has emerged as the country’s worst environmental disaster to date. Following a deliberate release of toxic chemicals at the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel plant on April 6, an estimated 115 tons of dead fish had piled up on central beaches. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) has this month directed the four central provinces devastated by Formosa’s discharge of toxic waste to test seawater at 19 beaches every two weeks. Test results will be sent to the Việt Nam Environment Administration and announced on the ministry’s website and other media.

(Sources: VN Express International, Vietnam Net Bridge)

EU And Vietnam Agree In Principle On Timber Trade Deal

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
November 2016

The EU and Vietnam have agreed in principle to work together towards reducing illegal logging and promoting trade in legally produced timber between the EU and Vietnam through an ambitious licensing system for Vietnamese timber and timber products. This will ensure that Vietnam’s exports of timber and timber products to the EU come from legal sources.

Vietnam is a major timber importing and processing country which has seen an exponential growth of its forest-based industries over the past decade, playing an important role in the global market. Illegal logging, however, remains a significant challenge. It deprives the government of revenue, threatens biodiversity and creates conflict with forest communities.

To implement the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), Vietnam will develop a timber legality assurance system and other reforms outlined in the Agreement, including issuing specific legislation to ensure the legality of timber it imports for further processing.

Once fully implemented, the VPA is expected to boost confidence in the legality of timber products exported by Vietnam, and deliver wider social and environmental benefits.

(Sources: European External Action Services, Nhan Dan Online)

ZincOx To Build Recycling Plant In Vietnam

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
November 2016

ZincOx Resources plc has announced it has entered into a MoU with Korea Zinc Company (KZC) Limited for the joint development of a recycling plant in Vietnam. The recycling plant will be based on the Rotary Hearth Furnace (RHF) technology developed by ZincOx in Korea, and where KZC are the Company’s partners. The Korean Recycling Plant is one of the world’s largest facilities recycling the waste dust (EAFD) generated by recycling galvanized steel scrap and has a design capacity of 200,000 tonnes per annum. The recycling plant is planned to treat 100,000 tpa of EAFD and in addition to upgrade both the iron and zinc intermediate products of the RHF to final products.

(Sources: Morningstar, Recycling Today Global Edition)

Waste Treatment Plan For Vietnam Is Approved

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
October 2016

Vietnam’s government has approved a plan for solid waste management in key economic zones in the north until 2030. The vital economic zones are the administrative boundaries of seven provinces and cities, including Hà Nội, Bắc Ninh, Hưng Yên, Hải Dương, Vĩnh Phúc, Hải Phòng and Quảng Ninh.

The plan estimates that the total amount of solid waste released until 2020 will reach nearly 39,000 tonnes per day, including 2,940 tonnes of harmful waste. In the period from 2021-2030, the figure is forecast to amount to more than 59,600 tonnes per day, including more than 4,300 tonnes of toxic solid waste.

In order to treat such an amount of solid waste, a waste treatment plant will be built in Sóc Sơn District of Hà Nội, covering 257 hactares with a capacity of around 6,000 tonnes per day. The plant will receive and treat normal solid waste for Hà Nội and harmful waste for Hà Nội, Vĩnh Phúc, Bắc Ninh and Hưng Yên.  Five other solid waste treatment facilities will also be built at the provincial level to provide treatment services for localities with a capacity of 11,500 tonnes per day.

In the past six years, 26 solid waste disposal factories, on a total area of 342 hactares and with a capacity of 6,015 tonnes per day, were set up. Expenditure for the treatment of solid waste is partly paid by the Vietnamese government. Currently, it provides support of between VNĐ 240,000 - VNĐ 400,000 (roughly USD 11 to  USD 18) per tonne for waste treatment.

(Sources: Vietnam.org, Vietnam News)

National Action Plan On Air Quality Management In Vietnam

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
September 2016

Environmental Source Samplers, Inc. (ESS) participated in the World Bank Group sponsored program in support of the Implementation of the National Action Plan on Air Quality Management in Vietnam. The seminar involving the World Bank, MONRE, VEA, JICA (Japan), ADB and IIASA (Austria).

The purpose of the Action Plan is to combat some very serious consequences of uncontrolled emissions in Vietnam. The World Bank discussed key points including:

  • Rapid economic growth in Vietnam is resulting in very high air pollution concentrations in urban area particularly in Hanoi and other Red River Delta cities.
  • As a result, recent PM2.5 levels in Hanoi reach 90-105 ug/m3 with annual average of 60 ug/m3, which is six (6) times higher than the WHO long-term recommended standard of 10 ug/m3.
  • This level of high pollution is associated with severe health impacts and calls for urgent actions.
  • Air pollution is estimated to result in significant labor productivity losses and over 30,000 premature deaths each year.

The new National Action Plan emphasizes the following key points:

  • Strengthening the focus on PM2.5
  • Expanding the air quality monitoring network, assuring data quality and building analytical capacity.
  • Improving inventory capacity and reporting system
  • Increasing the knowledge of health impact and cost effectiveness of mitigation options
  • Greater policy development and implementation
  • Supporting development of legal framework (ie. AQM Circular to guide city AQM panning; implementing permitting system, setting PM2.5 targets, and other) and implementation of increased capacity

(Sources: ESS Vietnam Blog, Vietnam News)

Vietnam Signs Agreement with France’s Airparif

ENVIRONMENT - Vietnam
September 2016

A partnership agreement for the design of a monitoring and information network on air quality was signed in Hanoi between DONRE (Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment) and Airparif, a French non-profit organization accredited by the French Ministry of Environment to monitor the air quality in Paris and in the Ile de France region (the capital city region).

This objective of the project is to enable Vietnam to quickly establish an effective operational system to monitor its air quality. The project relates to the design of a complete monitoring and information system on air pollution: adapted to its pollution challenges and based on innovative technologies (stations, modeling, etc.). This will help Vietnam to develop public policies to assess and improve air quality.

The Vietnamese population is increasingly concerned about this problem, especially since Hanoi has experienced major episodes of pollution in early 2016.

(Sources: Vietnam Artnews, Vietnam Breaking News.com -VBV)