Green IPs praised, but still unrealistic for Vietnam, experts say

Though experts and policy makers all admit the great advantages of ecological industrial zones (eco IP or EIP), they think such IZs cannot be developed in Vietnam at this time.

Liao Yi-Fan from the Taiwan Green Productivity Foundation (TGPF) suggested two models for eco IZs, either developing IZs in accordance with EIP standards from the very beginning, or improving traditional IZs into EIPs.

In EIPs, the waste from some enterprises will be commercialized to turn into input materials for other enterprises. As such, materials will be fully exploited to create products, while the waste will be minimized.

According to the expert, in Lin Hai IZ in the southern part of Taiwan, with the EIP model, the CO2 emission has fallen to 123 kton a year, while the recycled proportion has increased from 84.4% to 87.6%, and the proportion of reused steam has increased from 5.1% to 8.6%.

With 428,000 tons of materials and waste reused a year, this brings economic value of US$27.8 million a year.

However, Vietnamese scientists still are not sure if the model with high efficiency can be used in Vietnam.

Tran Minh Chi, former head of the Tropical Technology and Environment Protection Institute, noted the problem in Vietnam is that IZ management board only leases land for production premises, while it cannot make an intervention into business decisions on waste recycling.

Meanwhile, Chi pointed out that in order to be able to reuse the materials and waste among enterprises, it will be necessary to re-build the infrastructure system and set up pipelines, which will be very costly.

He also said that Vietnamese laws allowed reuse of some hazardous waste, but it must not be treated on the spot. The waste must be carried to certain places, licensed by competent agencies, for treatment.

Chien-Te Fan from National Tsinghua University in Taiwan has suggested setting up a science & environment technology park on the basis of six industries relating to renewable energy and high technologies.

He has also suggested international cooperation to create good projects to approach international funds, using them to develop a science & environment technology park.

ADB now gathers strength on the activities to ease the impact caused by climate change.

At least 29% of ADB’s budget was allocated to activities relating to environmental protection in 2014. 

The bank agrees to provide preferential loans with the interest rate of 0.5% to priority projects in the field.

Nguyen Nam Hai, an expert on standards and quality, noted that green industry development can turn realistic only if all the involved parties, from the state, associations, businesses and IZ management boards, can find benefits in it.