Belgium Rent-A-Port Green Energy and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development sign an MoU to develop wind and solar driven micro desalination.  (Photo: isgmard.org.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) - Rent-A-Port Green Energy has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop wind and solar driven micro desalination facilities, in a bid to solve the problems of salt water harming rice fields in the Mekong Delta region.

The agreement was signed with officials from Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on April 8.

Rent-A-Port Green Energy is 100 percent owned by Rent-A-Port NV, a Belgium engineering and investmentcompany, specialising in the development of marine infrastructures and industrial zones. Through its shareholders, Rent-A-Port can fall back on a wealth of in-house experience in the analysis, design, construction, development and management of port, logistics and marine infrastructures, green energy  as well as industrial zones worldwide.

Under the agreement, the Belgian firm and MARD will set up five demonstration wind-powered water desalination plants, with a total investment of 15 million USD, which are capable of providing fresh water for at least 200 hectares of rice fields in five locations across the Mekong Delta region.

Each plant consists of two water production units, with a combined peak capacity of 400 cu.m per day. The amount of salt found in the fresh water from the plants would be below 0.1 percent, making it suitable for irrigation and even drinkable for local people.

“We are expecting around 250 such plants to be built in the region, as a part of supporting Vietnam in improving rice production and the livelihoods of the region’s farmers. We are also willing to help Vietnam identify and seek the most suitable financing source for the development of such plants in the Mekong Delta,” Marc Stordiau, managing director of Rent-A-Port, said at the MoU signing ceremony.

He added that the project was not looking for profits, but will work to help farmers overcome difficulties in growing crops.

The project will only use green energies, thus reducing the system’s costs, he said.

Tran Kim Long, General Director of MARD’s International Co-operation Department, said the project would support two of Vietnam’s important programmes for building new rural models and restructuring.

“The public-private-partnership in the agricultural sector is expected to take advantage of models and partners who have had success in green growth in other countries,” Long added.

Since 2008, Rent-A-Port NV, a subsidiary of CFE, part of the large French Concession Group VINCI and the industrial group Ackermans and Van Haaren, have taken over all shares of AIG, to become the major shareholder of the Dinh Vu Industrial Zone in northern Hai Phong port city.

Rent-A-Port continues to expand it industrial zones, not only in Hai Phong city, but also in Quang Ninh province, creating the Deep C industrial cluster, which is built over a 3,000 ha. area.

Rent-A-Port Green Energy’s management was the driving force behind the pioneering “far shore” wind C power farm. This was the first time that wind turbines were built so far offshore (30 kilometres). The total farm capacity was approximately 360 MW.

Rent-A-Port Green Energy has also participated in several green power projects in Oman and Belgium.

The group has begun investing in green energy for the sustainable development of Vietnam. These include projects in wind-powered water desalination in the Mekong River Delta and Hai Phong, pioneering in solar energy in north Vietnam, as well as waste-to-energy modules in Dinh Vu and Uong Bi city. Rent-A-Port is also looking at developing inland waterway ports that divert traffic from roads to a safer and more ecological route by sea.

In November 2016, Rent-A-Port Green Energy and Rent-A-Port Utilities signed a MoU with the MARD on co-operation in wind-driven desalination for agricultural production in the Mekong Delta region.-VNA