Vietnam May Suspend New Licensing in Energy Inefficient Cement Sector

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Oct. 12 – Vietnam’s Ministry of Construction (MoC) hopes to pass a suspension in the licensing of new cement production projects in an effort to cool the sector’s rapid development and inefficient use of energy, according to the Vietnam News Service.

According to Vu Quang Diem, deputy director of the MoC’s Building Materials Department, Vietnam’s cement sector is the most energy inefficient of all the sectors covered under the department. At least 90 million kilowatt hours are currently utilized for every one million tons of cement produced, putting tremendous pressure on the country’s infrastructure.

New cement projects were of particular worry as many use inefficient and out of date technology, Diem said. He fears that the expanding cement sector, if left unregulated, could lead to massive amounts of wasted energy which would, in turn, have a severe negative impact on the region’s environment.

The MoC has proposed a suspension of investment in 13 projects that have been approved, but have yet to be carried out. As a substitute, the MoC has submitted documents to the Prime Minister calling for the construction of nine projects that would be energy efficient and would have a positive effect on their local economies. Stricter penalties for projects that fail to meet government standards were also asked for by the ministry.

Diem proposes that the government only license projects which utilize a power generator which runs on exhaust fumes. Exhaust fumes from cement factories can reach up to 370 degrees Celsius and, if harnessed, factories could recycle 30 percent of the energy they consume.