Illustrative image (Source: tietkiemnangluong.com.vn)
A road map of energy efficiency use for the national food-processing industry in the period of 2016 to 2020 is expected to be built following a project presented on October 29 in Hanoi.

Under the project, food-processing producers would receive technical assistance in energy auditing, compile their own detailed plans to use energy efficiently and receive preferential loans from the project to run their energy-efficiency plans.

The project's presentation was co-organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry's Department of Energy and the World Bank.

The bank is lending 200 million USD to implement the four-year project.

The project came after the food-processing sector's energy use was calculated to account for 19.2 percent of the total energy consumption in all industries of the country, according to Peter Maagoe Petersen, a representative from Niras – the project's consultant team.

The road map will provide a panorama of current energy use in the national food-processing industry, and then propose solutions to save energy, he said.

Ma Khai Hien, another consultant, said the potential for saving energy in the sector was estimated to be up to 20 percent.

At present, electricity and coal were the two major fuels used in the national food-processing industry, he said.

And small-and-medium enterprises were discovered to use outdated facilities in processing food and consuming more energy than expected, he said.

A representative from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers applauded the project and suggested it give technical support to the association's seafood-processing companies for energy efficiency.

The cost of energy often makes up 15 to 20 percent of production costs in a seafood-processing company, she said.

So reducing costs of energy use also means reducing the production cost, she said. "It's really helpful for raising the companies' competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets," she said.

The representative recommended the project to organise courses to train seafood-processing companies throughout the country on how to use energy efficiently, she added.

Energy efficiency is one of the major tasks of Vietnam in pursuing the target of green growth. It is set to reduce 5 to 8 percent of the total energy use in the country during 2012 to 2015 under the National Target Programme on Energy Saving and Efficiency signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2012.-VNA