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Energy efficiency boosts competitiveness

Update: September, 04/2012 - 09:34

 

The Viglacera Corporation's branch in the Viet Nam - Singapore Industrial Area in southeastern Binh Duong Province uses natural light to save energy in production. Many industries, including cement and steel production, have great potential to make massive energy savings. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha
HA NOI — The experiences of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have shown that cutting energy waste is essential to raise competitiveness at a time when resources are limited.

Saving energy helped not only reduce production costs but also protect the environment, according to Nguyen Quoc Toan from Hung Long Garment Company.

The company reported that it saved 21 per cent on monthly electricity bills and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 100 tonnes per year thanks to the installment of electricity-saving lamps and machines and the application of modern technologies.

Long-term competitiveness and profitability would also be increased, Toan stressed, and there would also be improvements in the working environment for company employees.

Toan said that it would take only around two years to retrieve capital invested in energy saving equipment.

Another food company in southern Dong Thap Province also invested VND430 million (US$20,500) in replacing outdated machines with modern ones, which helped save more than 100,000kWh per month and reduce 50 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, according to the on-line portal of the National Energy Efficiency Programme.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, many industries had great potential for energy saving. These included the garment industry, the mining industry and those involved in cement and steel production. These energy-consuming industries accounted for roughly 47 per cent of the country's total electricity output.

Meanwhile, wastes of energy were still common, especially in industries relying on outdated technology, leading to rising energy costs.

Statistics from the garment industry showed that energy costs accounted for 10 to 12 per cent of the product's prices, while the percentage of wasted energy might reach 30 per cent.

Nguyen Xuan Quang from the Institute of Heat Engineering and Refrigeration, as quoted in Thoi Bao Kinh Te Sai Gon (The Sai Gon Economic Times weekly) said that a lack of knowledge as well as financial difficulties resulted in SMEs wasting large amounts of energy.

He pointed out that SMEs with limited capital often used outdated technologies and production equipment, ignoring the fact that maximising energy efficiency would help them save money.

In addition, the success of energy efficiency programmes depended on the awareness and determination of the companies' managers, Quang added, saying that a dedicated personnel was needed to take charge of supervising energy consumption.

Toan said companies should have commend-and-reward policies to get workers involved in saving energy.

According to Electricity Viet Nam, the country saved around 1.3 billion kWh last year, equal to around 1.03 per cent of the commercial power amount. More than 900 million kWh of electricity was saved during the first nine months of this year. — VNS

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