The Vietnam Environment Protection Fund has announced loans at 3.6 percent interest for environment protection projects, according to a media report.

Thoi Bao Kinh Doanh (Business Newspaper) reported that the loans would be for up to 10 years and worth 70 percent of the project cost.

The fund, managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, will also give priority to projects to treat waste at industrial parks, factories and workshops, domestic waste, and exhaust emissions.

Projects using environment-friendly and energy-efficient technologies and equipment are also eligible for the preferential loans.

The VEPF normally lends at 5.4 percent to environment protection activities.

Insiders said that the loans at 3.6 percent interest are meant to support enterprises and investors involved in environment protection since projects of this nature always require huge investments.

Thus, the loans could play a key role in the setting up of waste treatment plants at industrial parks.

Since it was established in 2002 the fund has provided loans and grants worth 1 trillion VND (46.083 million USD) for 184 projects in various sectors.

Of them, 32 costing 383 billion VND involved building wastewater treatment plants at industrial parks in the central and southern regions.