Friday, October 18 2019

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Hà Nội chokes as air pollution increases

Update: January, 29/2019 - 06:00
Residents in Hà Nội wear masks while driving to protect themselves from air pollution. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Quyết
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Air pollution in Hà Nội in recent days has been so severe that health experts have warned people to stay indoors.

The Air Quality Index at various air monitoring stations across the capital showed dangerously high levels on Sunday afternoon. For instance, it was at 240 at Phạm Văn Đồng Street in Bắc Từ Liêm District.

The index touched 238 on Hàng Đậu Street, while it was 201 on Tân Mai Street.

A number above 150 is unhealthy for anyone, while anything between 201 and 300 is very unhealthy, according to the US Environment Protection Agency.

The heavy concentration of the particulate matter PM2.5 in the air has also raised health alarms.

The PM2.5 concentration in Hà Nội last Friday was 400 micrograms per cubic metre on Phạm Văn Đồng Street while on Mỹ Đình Street was 300. The World Health Organization safety limit is 25 micrograms per cubic metre.

PM2.5 refers to tiny dust particles that are about 30 times smaller than a human hair. These particles, which can remain longer and spread farther in the air than normal dust, can travel deep into the lungs and the blood.

According to Dr Hoàng Dương Tùng, head of Việt Nam Environment Administration, the sudden deterioration of air quality in Hà Nội is due to the increase in traffic as Tết (Lunar New Year) approaching.

He advised people to monitor air quality regularly through the Hà Nội City portal (hanoi.gov.vn) or network of the Environment Administration or the US Embassy.

Earlier, at the 2018 year-end review conference of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Nguyễn Đức Chung, chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee, said air pollution was a serious environmental problem for the city. According to the city’s assessment, demolition and transportation has caused serious pollution. — VNS

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Ash from waste-to-energy plant in Cần Thơ exceeds design

CẦN THƠ – Thới Lai waste-to-power plant, the first waste-burning power plant in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ’s Trường Xuân Commune, is generating more ash than planned.

According to inspection results of the provincial Department of Science and Technology, the amount of ash generated after treatment is 25.5 per cent of the amount of garbage put into the incinerator, an increase of 5.5 percentage points compared to the original design. 

In December 2016, city authorities granted an investment certificate to the China Everbright International Company to build the US$45.6 million (more than VNĐ1 trillion) plant.

It is managed by Cần Thơ Environmental Energy EB Co. Ltd.

Before being put into use after a one-month trial operation, the Cần Thơ Environmental Energy EB Co. Ltd agreed that the amount of ash emission would not exceed 20 per cent of garbage incinerated.

The factory has installed all registered machinery and equipment, but some devices appear to have suffered oxidisation and rust due to not being well preserved, according to the department’s report.

In addition, only 64 per cent of equipment has proper trademarks for registration.

Cần Thơ City People’s Committee has requested the company ensure the amount of ash produced is within the limits of the agreement and supplement measuring and recording equipment at the factory.

The company’s waste-to-energy plant was put into operation in December 2018, located in Trường Xuân Commune, Thới Lai District.

The 5.3-ha plant, which has designed daily waste processing capacity of 400 to 500 tonnes, produces more than 50 million kWh per year for the national grid. — VNS

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