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NEWS UPDATES 3 September 2010

Paying the bill for clean industry

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Lack of awareness and financial support for technology enabling Cleaner Production in Industry (CPI) has delayed its introduction in Viet Nam, said Nguyen Khac Kinh, deputy president of the Viet Nam Association for Environment Impact Assessment.

Kinh said the CPI was often perceived only as an environmental issue, but in reality it could generate substantial economic benefits.

He said that, for example, the national plan on the CPI (2001 –05), should have been produced by the former Ministry of Trade, but it was managed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. This slowed down its implementation.

Kinh said it was almost impossible to find funding or technical support for the CPI from any source other than environmental fundings.

A seminar on the CPI in Vinh Phuc province last week was told that although it had been introduced in Viet Nam many years ago, it wasn't widely used by Vietnamese enterprises. It was told that the CPI required smaller but more environmentally-friendly inputs while minimising production waste.

Dang Tung, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Department for Science and Technology, said the application of CPI technologies was known to be economical, environmentally clean - and profitable.

A survey by the Viet Nam Cleaner Production Centre found that the application of the CPI in Viet Nam could save 40 to 70 per cent of water, 20 to 50 per cent energy, 50 to 100 per cent of toxic waste, and about 20 to 50 per cent of green gases.

It also found that cleaner production helped improve a company's image, increased productivity and led to sustainability.

In Phu Tho Province, the Vinh Phu Battery Company has applied the CPI technology to reduce lead waste from 5 to 3 percent, saving the company VND200 million (US$10,520) a year.

Productivity also increased from 480 to 720 product units per hour - and electricity consumption was reduced almost by half, saving the company VND140 million ($7,370).

By using the new technology, the company also requires less workers, 500 instead of 650. This saves it VND250 million ($13,000) a year.

In total, the CPI technology saves the battery company VND590 million ($31,000) a year.

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