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HCMC green lights waste plant that generates electricity

Released at: 12:34, 29/10/2016

HCMC green lights waste plant that generates electricity

Photo: Duc Anh/Illustration

Two partners involved in building plant in city's Cu Chi district.

by Nhi Linh

The Hitachi Zosen Corporation (Hitz) will cooperate with the Ho Chi Minh City Urban Environment Co. Ltd. (Citenco) to build a waste treatment facility at the Phuoc Hiep rubbish dump in Cu Chi district in Ho Chi Minh City that will produce electricity.

“After a proposal from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee agreed to Hitz and Citenco conducting a pilot processing 200 kg of organic biodegradable solid waste per day to produce electricity,” the committee announced on its website.

The project will cover an area of 300 sq m and meet environmental and fire protection standards. The city has also requested the two partners strictly follow all environmental protection measures and ensure the area is clean at the end of the pilot.

It also asked that if pollution is created during the pilot that Hitz and Citenco take responsibility and cease the project immediately. Hitz previously proposed the city conduct three waste treatment projects, including burning rubbish to produce electricity, collecting methane, and making compost.

Hitz has spent about $80 million on the three projects and taken four years to research the make-up and volume of rubbish in Ho Chi Minh City. Results show good prospects for turning rubbish into power.

According to the city’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, every day about 7,500 tonnes of rubbish is collected and about 75 per cent is buried at the Da Phuoc waste treatment complex in Binh Chanh district.

The smell from this waste treatment complex, however, has recently become overpowering for residents in Binh Chanh and Nha Be districts and District 7. The smell can strike at different times of the day, depending on the wind, but is especially bad in the early morning and late afternoon. Moreover, water from the rubbish dump has blackened water in local canals.

Mr. Vo Van Hoan, Chief of the city’s committee office, said on September 29 that the rubbish at Da Phuoc is now stacked 25 meters high and will eventually reach 40 meters. Within five or seven years there will be no space left at Da Phuoc and an alternative must be found. "The city is therefore calling for investment in high-technology waste treatment instead of simply burying rubbish, he said at the City's press conference.

Ten years ago a group of scientists, including Dr. Le Huy Ba, suggested to the city that a rubbish dump not be built in Binh Chanh district because the land is low-lying, floods are common, and the land has a low pH level, meaning rubbish would decompose slowly.

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