Positive Responses To Environment Protection
By Thu Nam
As environment protection becomes increasingly imperative, many organizations especially manufacturers have responded positively to the popular movement. At the least benefit, the awareness keeps them away from multiple troubles like inspections and penalties from authorities, and raises their prestige in doing business with partners, while on the other hand, the biggest rewards are lower costs and higher profits.
From Hepza in HCM City…
Ngo Anh Tuan, deputy head of the HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (Hepza), is upbeat about the environment protection movement in all those zones under Hepza’s supervision.
“The awareness of environmental protection and power saving among enterprises in IPs and EPZs, particularly at foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs), has changed positively in recent years,” says Tuan, adding that many of the 480 FIEs in such zones in the city are pressing ahead with plans to practice green production while trying to boost export sales.
The change of the mindset for a greener environment is demonstrated by a significant reduction in violations in recent years. Tuan says that Hepza uncovered 184 violations of the environment law in 2008, and imposed fines totaling VND1.9 billion. The number of such misdeeds was halved to only 97 cases last year, with financial sanctions of some VND1.2 billion.
Hepza sees that the situation has much improved in the year to date, and “this is credited to our tougher stance against violations, as well as to the fact that companies themselves have recognized green production as one of the keys to their success at a time environment protection is a must.”
Tuan says that Hepza’s inspectors are launching more checks on the quality of treated wastewater at enterprises to see whether manufacturers meet requirements for discharging standards or not. Of course, Hepza will also apply heavier fines to those enterprises that are caught red-handed discharging untreated wastewater into the environment.
To encourage corporate tenants to have practical actions for the environment, Hepza is organizing courses to assist IP developers and enterprises in developing power and green business practices because Hepza wants them to fully realize the importance of these solutions as key to their sustainable growth.
Tuan observes that awareness of environment protection is also seen at would-be investors in these zones, explaining that “new enterprises before deciding to invest in EPZs and IPs often ask Hepza about the concentrated wastewater and smoke treatment facilities.”
At the moment, the city has ten operating industrial parks, three export processing zones and one high-tech park. All of these parks have developed their central wastewater facilities.
… to a power plantin Ba Ria-Vung Tau
For Phu My 3 BOT Power Co. in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, energy conservation is also an utmost form of environment protection, and beyond that, the practice also generates greater profits.
Energy conservation largely refers to the practice of minimizing the amount of energy being consumed. For Phu My 3 BOT Power Co. as an energy producer, the term is not simply confined to that definition. Instead, the company manages to maximize the amount of energy produced from the given amount of resources available. And the effort pays off.
Phu My 3 BOT Power Co. has been implementing a combination of activities, including technology upgrades and operation management improvement, to generate the most energy from resources.
As the company operates a gas-fired combined-cycle power plant, its cost-saving focuses mainly on the operation management of its turbines, such as cutting down the amount of hot steam released from operation, and better cleaning the wind filter and wind compressor. The practice results in high production efficiency, as the company is able to raise the plant’s capacity by 30MW to 739MW.
Besides, the company has made efforts to reduce the number of turns of stopping as well as restarting the turbine by setting forward a specific plan and doing checks during minor repairs.
Due to the capacity upgrade and reduction of boot turns, the company finally has earned an additional material value of US$450,000 from January through August this year, according to the company. The amount of money is mostly calculated on the basis of the company’s payment for gas and electric energy.
It cares about environment protection in its operation as well. The company uses natural gas as the primary fuel for its power generation. However, in cases of disruption of gas supply, the plant resorts to low-sulfur diesel oil to ensure that the emission of sulfur dioxides complies with Vietnamese standards.
Moreover, the plant is equipped with a system of waste treatment. It has installed a mechanical and biological treatment system for wastewater and a classification system for solid wastes.
The company also has developed a procedure to assess health and safety risks in the workplace and the adjacent residential area. Its environment protection is practiced on the basis of the environmental management standard ISO 14001 2004.