Many waste-to-electricity projects have kicked off recently around the country, especially in major urban areas.
In November 2018, the HCM City Department of Natural Resources and the Environment joined forces with Tasco JSC to start construction of Tasco Cu Chi, a 500 ton per day solid recycling plant.
In Hanoi, the municipal authorities approved the Soc Son waste-to-electricity (WTE) plant project with capacity of 4,000 tons per day.
With huge volume of domestic waste of up to 9,300 tons per day, HCM City has released a set of criteria for investments in waste-to-electricity projects.
The city will accept projects with the daily capacity of 1,000 tons and treatment costs of no more than $21 per ton. The technology in the projects need to be capable of treating unclassified waste, and all the equipment must be new.
Hanoi, Da Nang and Hai Phong have also called for investment from different economic sectors.
WTE technology has a lot of advantages. It reduces 90-95 percent of waste volume, takes full advantage of heat, occupies less land area, mitigates water pollution and bad odors and reduces greenhouse emissions.
The government, prioritizing usage of electricity from waste, has set a high electricity purchase price of up to 10.05 cent per kwh, which is even higher than prices from wind and solar power.
Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the only wholesale electricity buyer, has committed to use electricity generated by waste-to-electricity plants.
In large urban areas, the volume of waste is big enough to incinerate waste to generate electricity. However, in order to use wind and solar power, EVN needs to develop transmission networks because solar power projects are located in provinces far from electricity consumption centers.
EVN prefers electricity from waste treatment plants because production can be implemented in all weather conditions.
In principle, waste-to-electricity projects are attractive to investors because they do not take too much time to take back investment capital.
Dong Minh Toan, chair and CEO of Binh Phuoc Import/Export, the investor of a project, estimates that it takes waste-to-electricity investors five years to recover investment capital instead of 10 years from wind and solar power projects.
However, waste-to-electricity projects are not reserved for all. Analysts said only 5-6 localities in Vietnam can provide enough waste to bring profits to waste-to-electricity plants. It is estimated that Vietnam will have no more than 200 MW of electricity from waste.
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