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August 6, 2008

Vietnam’s govt plans to save $8bn on energy
Vietnam’s government plans to make the country’s use of energy become more efficient, with a hope to save up to $8 billion of its government budget, reported Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on Tuesday.

VNA quoted Huynh Kim Tuoc, director of HCM City Energy Conservation Centre, as saying that Vietnam’s potential for power savings is between 10-40 percent, which could translate into financial savings if energy consumption were economised more effectively.

While other countries consider energy saving to be the biggest power source, Vietnam has strived to save 3-5 percent of energy consumption during the 2007-2012 five-year plan, he said.

To make $1,000, Vietnam needs 500 kg of oil TOE (tonne on energy). HCM City requires 384 kg of oil TOE, while Japan only uses up 100 kg.

The country also needs to cut the elasticity co-efficient, a ratio of energy growth to the growth in gross domestic products, which currently ranges from 1.46-1.86.

A drop of 0.1 in the co-efficient would save the nation $500 million, Tuoc said, adding that Thailand meanwhile attempts to reduce the index from 1.3 to 1.1 from 2005 to 2010. Worldwide, the index hovers around 0.9-1.

Tuoc stressed the importance of saving energy for businesses since energy costs accounted for 30-50 percent, sometimes even 70 percent, of production costs and carry the risk of closures to the front door of many firms in HCM City.

A recent survey by the Energy Conservation Centre of 8,000 households, businesses and agencies in HCM City and neighbouring Can Tho and Binh Duong provinces shows a remarkable change in energy-saving awareness. “Previously, the centre had to implore or even pay businesses to provide consulting services. The situation has reversed now, with around 20 companies waiting for the centre’s assistance in energy saving solutions,” Tuoc said.

The centre now offers energy-related consulting services to 30 provinces and cities nationwide. It has consulted 1,800 out of HCM City’s 2,600 enterprises.

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