Industrial wastewater treatment in Vietnam provides opportunities for Finnish companies
In Vietnam, there is a growing demand for sufficient treatment of industrial wastewater, especially in the southern parts of the country. The Vietnamese provinces with potential industrial parks include the likes of Binh Duong, Long An, Tay Ninh and Dong Nai.
Even though the government of Vietnam released the new environment protection law in 2014, followed by further implementing regulations, there are still major shortcomings in the local wastewater treatment.
The general awareness of the importance of water management is high in Vietnam, but there seems to be a lack of competitive solutions that satisfy properly the demand concerning wastewater treatment across the Vietnamese industries. From business viewpoint, the context provides a potential market for advanced and competitive technology providers, for instance from Finland, to discover and generate business in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese government has spent a lot of resources to establish and improve the current situation with urban wastewater treatment. The annual budget for the enhancing activities has varied between USD 230 and USD 280 million. According to the World Bank's estimations, the average annual growth rate of the wastewater-related spending has been 20 percent. However, there are still many insufficiencies in the local wastewater treatment, such as unaffordable operation costs.
Additionally, more transparent legal frameworks as well as additional incentive policies are needed to attract foreign investments for wastewater treatment projects in Vietnam. The contributions of international funding agencies, in particular the World Bank, still play a very important role in financing of the urban wastewater treatment projects.
Meanwhile, international commitments under the trade agreements like the TPP also push Vietnam towards upgrading the local infrastructure.
As of now, it seems like the wastewater treatment in Vietnam is mainly focusing on decreasing the harms caused by wastewater before discharging it to the environment. Interestingly, as reported by local authorities as well as revealed by the public media, some industrial factories discharge wastewater directly to the environment without or with improper treatments.
Still, according to the law, factories that generate harmful wastewater must establish an internal treatment plant, i.e. each industrial park must be equipped with at least one centralized wastewater treatment plant to treat the final wastewater.
In the near future, the demand for industrial wastewater treatment has a potential to focus on several areas, including:
- Building of modern and eco-friendlier wastewater treatment plants for industrial parks.
- Replacing the use of chlorine with bio-solutions in treatment processes.
- Further processing of sludge to energy.
- Building modern labs and monitoring facilities.
- Improving competencies for human resources.
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Kinh Pham Hoang