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Ministry mulls curbs on cement production   2010-10-06 - Viet Nam News

The Ministry of Construction plans to propose to the Prime Minister a suspension in the licensing of new cement production projects to limit the sector’s overheated development, and unnecessary waste of energy.

The Dien Bien Cement Plant began operations in the northern province of Dien Bien this month. (Photo: VNS)
The Dien Bien Cement Plant began operations in the northern province of Dien Bien this month. (Photo: VNS)
Vu Quang Diem, Deputy Director of the Ministry’s Building Materials Department, said in terms of the building materials production sector, the cement sector was the most energy-inefficient.

For each million tonnes of cement produced, the power sector had to supply 90-95 million kWh, Diem said.

The rapid growth of the building materials production industry, including the cement sector, had put pressure on infrastructure, especially the power sector, Diem said.

The most worrying problem was the number of new cement projects, many of which were inefficient and used out-of-date technology, would continue to rapidly increase if management was not tightened, he said.

The boom would lead to a waste of energy and harm the environment, he added.

The Department was developing a plan for cement sector development until 2015, with an orientation to 2025 to submit to the Government.

The ministry proposed a suspension of investment in 13 projects which had been approved in Prime Minister’s Decision 108/2005/QD-TTg issued in 2005, but had not been carried out or would be harmful to the environment if continued.

As an alternative, the authority petitioned the Prime Minister to agree to the construction of nine projects which had more favourable local conditions and would have a significantly beneficial affect on the development of the region where they were located.

The ministry also asked for stricter punishment on projects that failed to meet schedules.

The head of the ministry’s Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Nguyen Trung Hoa, said that it was difficult to compel enterprises to spend hundreds of millions of US dollars to renew technology.

Therefore it was necessary to offer preferential lending policies, so that companies would find it easier to access loans to upgrade energy-saving technology, he said, adding that a raft of complicated administrative procedures was one of obstacles that made companies hesitate when considering upgrading their technology.

The Government should strictly implement the regulation that forced cement factories to re-use exhaust fume heat discharged to generate power, as the temperature of the exhaust fumes could reach up to 370 degrees Celsius, Hoa said.

If factories could take advantage of this energy source, they could save 30 per cent of the electricity they consumed, he added.

Although the policy had been outlined in Decision 108, many enterprises had not been interested in it, Hoa said.

Diem suggested that the Government only license new projects which included the construction of a power generator using exhaust fumes.

According to the ministry, by the end of 2009, total design capacity of all cement factories nationwide was 57.4 million tonnes per year, which could fully satisfy domestic consumption demand. However, this year, total capacity had added an additional 11.7 million tonnes to output.

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