Finnish companies will continue to invest in the development of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, particularly in the conversion of waste to power, according to Finpro, the national trade promotion office of Finland.
“Finland is a world leader in waste-to-energy technology, and this has proven to be a segment of singular interest to Vietnam,” said Saku Liuksia, Finpro’s programme manager of waste-to-energy and bioenergy.
Saku was the leader of a delegation of 16 Finnish exhibitors to Vietwater 2017 expo ended in Ho Chi Minh City on November 10.
“Vietnam has long struggled with issues of waste management, with a recent study estimating that HCM City alone is discharging 8,300 tonnes of waste each day, and 76 percent of that waste is ending 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,” he said.
Since Finpro’s last Vietwater appearance, much progress has been made by Finnish companies operating in Vietnam’s clean energy space, particularly in converting waste problem into a solution for power-shortage problem.
“Finland now converts around 90 percent of its municipal solid waste into power or recovers it for other purposes,” Saku said. “In Finland, we have a target to close our remaining landfills in the coming years. We would love to be able to contribute to Vietnam doing likewise in future.”
He highlighted the local efforts of several such enterprises, including Doranova, which offers advanced solutions for contaminated sites remediation and transforms waste into renewable energy; Watrec, which has prioritised Vietnam for its development of biogas technology; and Valmet, which efficiently creates energy from biomass and waste.
Mikko Saalasti, Doranova’s head of renewable energy, said the company’s waste to energy project was expected to ‘fire up’ for the first time next month.
“Vietnam delivered one of the largest projects Doranova has ever undertaken, with a 35,000 tonne landfill gas plant currently under development just outside HCM City,” he said. “The project is expected to reduce the city’s landfill emissions as well as provide additional power generation options from waste materials for residents and businesses in Vietnam’s largest metropolis. Our landfill gas plant will further assist Vietnam in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.”
His counterpart at Watrec remarked that the company made numerous visits to Vietnam in the past year, including Vietwater, and has accompanied Finnish ministers to Vietnam to discuss waste treatment options that the company can bring to make the country cleaner and greener, on the streets, in the waterways, and in the generation of power.
“We have placed Vietnam at the top of our list of development countries,” said Kimmo Tuppurainen, area sales director for Southeast Asia for Watrec.
“At present, our waste to energy project in Hanoi is commencing. It is a total solution project that takes Hanoi’s municipal solid waste, sorts it and converts it to bio-gas and other materials to be incinerated.
“Our projects will not just improve the way Vietnam lives by generating power from organic waste, including that of the food industry and of municipal waste water sludge, but will also generate substantial and sustainable employment for people in and around Hanoi.”
Reflecting on the time he spent at Vietwater, Matti Miinalainen, Valmet’s director for Asia Pacific & China, said: “Vietnam is developing rapidly toward renewable sources of energy, and with a special focus in the waste to energy sector. We have a superb offering in this space from which Vietnam stands to benefit immensely.
“We are very active in the wastewater segment, an area with which Vietnam grapples, in terms of its treatment nationally. Over the course of my meetings with customers and the people we have met at Vietwater, 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.”