HCM City weighs US$180-million waste-to-power plant

The HCMC government has urged relevant departments to consider a proposal by a Korean investor to develop a US$180-million plant to burn waste and generate electricity using Stoker technology of South Korea.

Huynh Kim Tuoc, director of the HCMC Energy Conservation Center, told a meeting in HCMC on Monday that South Korean firm Hansol has proposed contributing 80 per cent of the investment to the project with a designed daily treatment capacity of 1,000 tons under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model. The investor requested the city to cover the remainder.

Tuoc said South Korea’s Stoker technology incinerates rubber, leather, cloth, and hospital and household waste. HCMC has no waste incineration project to generate power as Go Cat and Da Phuoc landfills have facilities to produce electricity from gases at the landfills.

Nguyen Van Ly, deputy general director of HCMC Power Corporation, cited the Prime Minister’s Decision 31/2014/QD-TTg as saying that power companies have to buy electricity of waste-to-power projects in 20 years at a price of 10.05 U.S. cents per kWh.  

Investors of waste-to-power projects can enjoy tax incentives when importing equipment and land rent reductions in accordance with the decision.

With the buying price, the annual revenue of the project able to treat 1,000 tons of waste daily as proposed by the Korean firm would be around VND370 billion.

Ly calculated that the investor would be able to recover investment in the project after nearly 14 years of operation, Ly said.

HCMC vice chairman Le Manh Ha said under the city’s waste treatment plan, 40 per cent of the waste volume will have to be recycled in 2015, 40 per cent buried and the rest incinerated. However, up to 75 per cent of waste is buried currently.

Ha assigned the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, the Energy Conservation Center and HCMC Power Corporation to consider implementing the waste-to-power project of Hansol to increase the proportion of waste incinerated.   

HCMC currently discharges around 7,500 tons of waste a day, with organic waste accounting for nearly 82 per cent. The waste discharge picks up around 8 per cent annually.

Around 23,000 tons of urban waste is discharged daily nationwide. The potential to generate power from waste is huge but has yet to be tapped as 85 per cent of waste is buried.

Danang and HCMC are the only two localities in Vietnam to study incinerating waste to produce electricity.

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