Opportunities In The Waste-To-Energy Sector In Vietnam

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Opportunities In The Waste-To-Energy Sector In Vietnam

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VLC Energy News - August 2018

Waste-to-energy sector

Currently, Viet Nam annually generates over 28 million tonnes of waste, with 76% of it being disposed in landfills. Waste-to-energy solutions can not only process solid wastes but also generate energy. Viet Nam can produce around 1 billion kWh in 2020, and 6 billion kWh in 2050 from waste. The government has set targets for the collection, reuse, and recycling of waste. By 2020, it aims to collect and treat 90% of urban solid waste, with 85% of it being recycled and reused.

Growing energy demand

Energy demand in Viet Nam is predicted to grow over 10% by 2020, and another 8% by 2030. To manage the growing demand, the government has implemented numerous policies in the clean energy sector in the past five years, including those focusing on waste-to-energy solutions.

The potential for energy generated from biomass and solid waste is around 2000 MW and 320 MW respectively. However, current installed capacity is much less at 352 MW and 2.4 MW for biomass and solid wastes respectively.

Major waste-to-energy projects

In February 2018, the Asian Development Bank and China Everbright International Limited signed a US$100 million loan agreement to construct waste-to-energy plants in Mekong Delta, that will not only treat solid wastes but also supply electricity to the national grid. It is the first public-private partnership project in the sector.

Last year, in April 2017, Viet Nam’s first industrial waste-to-energy plant was set up in Ha Noi, with equipment from Japan’s Hitachi Zosen Corporation. It can process 75 tonnes of waste per day and generate 1.93 MW of energy. A total of US$29 million was invested in the project, with US$22.5 million being non-refundable aid from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a governmental organization that focuses on research and development of industrial technology in new energy solutions. In the same month, the Go Cat plant became operational in Ho Chi Minh City, which has already treated 500 tons of industrial waste and generated seven megawatts for the national grid.

Future projects are focusing on increasing the number and capacity of waste-to-energy plants in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Mekong Delta. Some of the major investors include Hitachi Zosen Corporation, Watrec Ltd, and Trisun Green Energy Corporation.


Viet Nam plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5% by 2020, 25% by 2030, and 45% by 2050. With the rise in urbanization and electricity consumption, clean energy offers an environmental-friendly solution to meet the growing demand. Local firms lack the technical expertise and capital, and this presents an opportunity for investors.

Some of the opportunities are in:

  • Machinery/Equipment – collection and sorting equipment, waste processing equipment, and incinerators;

  • Technical expertise – processing and recycling technologies, waste management solutions, plant design and engineering solutions;

  • Funding and financing – investing capital in upcoming and existing plants, and working with engineering firms and municipal governments.

  • Logistics consultant, shipping and logistics services to project owners, EPCs, vendors

Government policies

The Viet Nam government has implemented numerous policies for domestic as well as foreign firms involved in waste-to-energy projects. The major regulations are mentioned in Decision 31/2014/QD-TTg, Circular 32/2015/TT-BCT, and Decree 118/2015/ND-CP.

  • Decision 31 – stipulates the supporting mechanism or development of power generation projects using solid waste;

  • Circular 32 – deals with the development of grid-tied generation projects using solid wastes and provides a model electricity sale contract for projects using solid wastes in Viet Nam; and

  • Decree 118 – deals with investment incentives and schemes in various sectors including construction of concentrated solid waste treatment zones and collection, treatment, recycling, and reuse of waste.

The feed-in-tariff for power generation projects using solid waste is 10.05US cents per kWh (direct burning) and 7.28 U.S. cents per kWh (burning of gases from landfills). Incentives include tax holidays, exemption of import duties for equipment, land rent exemptions, and low-interest loans.


Although the potential of solar and wind energy is much higher than solid wastes in Viet Nam, waste-to-energy projects have a two-fold benefit: It helps in generating energy and the processing of waste, which has grown exponentially in urban Viet Nam.

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