08-02-2019, 17:08 (GMT+7) 14

Ecological industrial zones are still only on paper

Vietnam began developing eco industrial zones (Izs) four years years ago but no true eco zone exists today.

Tran Duy Dong from the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) said at a recent workshop on eco IZs in HCM City that Vietnam now has 326 IZs, but most of them operate under the traditional model.

Only some newly developed IZs are integrated with urban areas, but there is no real eco IZ.

Traditional IZs are causing big problems to human health and the environment. About 13 percent of IZs lack waste treatment plants, 20 percent produce hazardous industrial waste, and most of them use resources ineffectively.

Traditional IZs are causing big problems to human health and the environment. About 13 percent of IZs lack waste treatment plants, 20 percent produce hazardous industrial waste, and most of them use resources ineffectively.

Eco IZ is a model of a circular economy in which the output can be used as input material. As such, the materials can be exploited fully to generate products, while the volume of waste can be reduced to a minimum level.

Vietnam is moving toward a new economic development model based on circular economy, and eEcological IZ is a model of the circular economy

The eco IZ model has been implemented on a trial basis at three IZs in Ninh Binh, Da  Nang and Can Tho. Specialists have found that enterprises can save 5-10 percent of energy, 3-5 percent of water volume, and reduce 510 tons of CO2 emission volume, 95 kilogram of COD, and 51.1 µg of Teq PCDD/F.

The initial encouraging results led MPI to apply the model in IZs throughout the country.

To be recognized as eco IZ, an IZ needs to have greenery area accounting for at least 25 percent of total area.

In the IZs, service infrastructure items are shared. At least 90 percent of enterprises in eco IZs must have awareness of RCEP (Renewable Energy Cooperation Program) and at least 20 percent of enterprises should apply RCEP solutions.

In addition, at least 10 percent of enterprises in the IZ have to join industrial symbiosis links. Industrial symbiosis means cooperation among enterprises in the same IZs to fully exploit and optimize the use of materials, energy, water and scrap waste.

With the cooperation, enterprises exchange production elements, share infrastructure items and services for production, improve technological processes, and upgrade production efficiency.

However, experts warn that it will be challenging to convert a traditional IZ into an ecological one. There is no consistent concept about ‘waste’. Waste management in Vietnam still doesn’t fit the demand for waste reuse.
Kim Chi - Vietnamnet