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Sweden brings winds of change to VN

Update: October, 05/2013 - 10:19
Wind turbines at Bac Lieu Wind Power Plant in southern Bac Lieu Province. The second one of its kind in Viet Nam and the first in the Mekong Delta region, the plant was connected to the national power grid in May. — VNA/VNS Photo Cao Thang
HCM CITY (VNS)— Local and foreign stakeholders in the energy sector discussed the potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang at a workshop held on Thursday in HCM City.

Twenty-one projects, including 10 capacity-building projects on energy efficiency and renewable energy, were presented at the workshop for investment opportunities.

The workshop was one of the final activities of the Partner Driven Cooperation Programme on energy efficiency and renewable energy between An Giang Province and the Swedish Energy Agency.

It has been implemented since 2012, said Maria Selin, counsellor and deputy head of mission for the Swedish Embassy.

As Sweden is phasing out its bilateral development assistance to Viet Nam, it is essential to strengthen partnerships between Sweden and Viet Nam, she said.

With the Partner Driven Cooperation (PDC) model, sustainable partnerships can be maintained over time even without Sweden's aid financing.

Environment and climate change are the priority areas for strategy cooperation between the two countries, she added.

The PDC programme, with a total budget of US$1.15 million, aims to develop capacity in both the public and private sectors in order to increase the number of energy efficiency and renewable energy applications in An Giang Province.

A training programme for initial project development and financial engineering is the main focus of the PDC programme, which is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and provincial government.

Business plans for several projects were developed under the financial engineering training programme, including a small-scale gasification of rice-husk project and three projects for the production of pellets from biomass residues.

It also supports project development with a focus on capacity-building and utilisation of climate change through the carbon market, as well as a clean-development mechanism by raising awareness and providing assistance in addressing barriers to project development.

The Centre of Excellence on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, which was established under the programme, plays an important role as an operational counterpart between the project partners.

In the past two years, the two sides have jointly developed three projects, including the PDC Programme on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, said Vuong Binh Thanh, chairman of An Giang Province's People's Committee

Other projects are the An Giang-Pitea Sustainable Community Development and the An Giang-Vaxjo Building Capacity on Energy Development Programme, Thanh said.

An Giang Province produces 4 million tonnes of rice and 320,000 tonnes of fish per year, he said.

The province exports 600,000 tonnes of rice per year and 140,000 tonnes of seafood per year.

Nguyen Duc Cuong of the Institute of Energy said that Viet Nam had great potential for biomass and biogas production.

More than 118 million tonnes of biomass was being produced every year, mainly from husks and straw, bagasse and sugarcane leaves, corn residues, natural and planted forest, barren lands, deforested hills and planted trees, Cuong said.

A total of 4.8 billion cubic metres of biogas could also be recovered every year from husbandry activities, he said. —VNS


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