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|Finnish firms look to tackle Vietnam’s urgent needs in both energy generation and waste management|
Doranova from Finland has teamed up with Binh Duong Water Supply Sewerage Environment Co., Ltd. (BIWASE) to implement the second phase of a waste-to-energy project in Vietnam. In the first phase, another Finnish company provided waste separation lines on the same site.
According to Mikko Saalasti, head of renewable energy at Doranova, Vietnam delivered one of the largest projects Doranova has ever undertaken – a 35,000-tonne waste-to-energy plant worth €6 million ($6.95 million), currently under development on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City.
“This project is expected to reduce the city’s landfill, as well as provide additional power generation options for Vietnam’s largest metropolis to draw from. Our bio-gas plant will further assist Vietnam to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions,” Saalasti said.
Specifically, Doranova will collect gas discharged from landfills, clean it, and use cogeneration to produce both electricity and useful heat. It will collect landfill gases at a maximum level of 500 cubic metres (m3) per hour. The project kicked off early this year, and is slated for completion by April 2018.
A little more than a week ago, the Finnish firm Watrec commenced a waste-to-energy project in Hanoi with a capacity of 600 tonnes of waste per day.
“We have placed Vietnam atop our list of development countries,” Kimmo Tuppurainen, Watrec’s sales director for Southeast Asia, said, adding that the company is planning to team up with local partners to carry out more projects in the country.
Tuppurainen said that in the beginning, technology from Finland was expensive. To lower the investment costs, Watrec has joined up with local companies to build sections of the Hanoi plant. The firm has also transferred technology to local experts to ensure the project runs more effectively.
Another Finnish company named Valmet has established a presence in Vietnam by offering control systems in hydropower plants. The company is now increasing its focus on Vietnam’s waste-to-energy sector.
Valmet director of Asia-Pacific and China, Matti Miinalainen, commented that Vietnam is developing rapidly in the field of renewable energy production, and with a special focus on the waste-to-energy sector. Valmet has superb offerings in this space from which Vietnam can benefit immensely. The firm is also active in the wastewater segment.
“Over the course of my meetings with customers and others at the Vietwater expo, a pressing need for the kind of expertise for which Finland is renowned has emerged, and we look forward to partnering with the nation in the years to come,” he said.
These three companies are among 16 Finnish exhibitors, led by the nation’s trade promotion body Finpro, which participated in Vietwater 2017 held in Ho Chi Minh City last week.
Saku Liuksia, Finpro’s programme manager of waste-to-energy and bioenergy, said, “Finnish companies started to focus heavily on Vietnam’s waste-to-energy, bioenergy, and clean tech sectors roughly one-and-a-half years ago. We are familiar with all the challenges, possibilities, and potentials of these sectors in the Vietnamese market.”
Finpro not only brings Finnish companies to Vietnam, but also brings several delegations from Vietnam to Finland to showcase Finnish expertise and technology. Several matchmaking events have taken place between Finnish and Vietnamese stakeholders. There are also several projects planning to re-use different kinds of materials, like solid waste, agricultural residue, and waste sludge.
Liuksia highlighted the remarkable progress firms from Finland have been able to make over the past year-and-a-half in assisting Vietnam with its waste and power issues. Vietnam’s water-to-energy sector is in its early stages, so it will take a bit of time for energy and big waste management projects to develop in the country.
According to Liuksia, Finland is a world leader in waste-to-energy technology, and this has proven to be a segment of singular interest to Vietnam. Vietnam has long struggled with issues of waste management, with a recent study estimating that Ho Chi Minh City alone discharges 8,300 tonnes of waste each day, 76 per cent of which ends up in landfills. Meanwhile, power shortages and outages remain a part of daily life in the city – and some leading Finnish companies are at the forefront of addressing both of these issues.