VN thermal power plants need hi-tech interventions hinh anh 1Ninh Binh Thermal-power Plant in Ninh Binh province (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) Coal-fired thermal power plants should focus on technology renovation so as to minimise environmental pollution, given that thermal power will provide much of Vietnam’s future energy, experts warn.

Nuclear power projects have been cancelled, while the current hydro-power plants have fully exploited the rivers and streams, and gas thermo power is unaffordable, so thermo energy is still a best solution for national energy security,” Dr. Trương Duy Nghia, President of the Vietnam Thermo Power Association, said at a recent seminar.

According to the national energy development plan, thermo power plants will provide 26,000MW in 2020 and 47,600MW in 2035, accounting for 49.3 percent and 55 percent of the country’s total electricity yield.

Thermal power plants are cheap but discharge a large amount of solid waste and gas harmful to the environment, experts say. The Ministry of Industry and Commerce reported that the current 20 coal thermal power plants discharge about 16 million tonnes of ash and cinder a year.

The number of plants will be doubled when several new projects go into operation during the period of 2021-2025.

Dr. Nguyen Manh Hien, former Director of the Energy Institute, said ashes and cinder from coal thermal power plants are stored in open-air dumps, which cause health problems for people living nearby, but so far no effective measures have been put in place to treat the waste.

Recycling the waste for construction materials, such as cement and bricks, is one possible solution, said the expert. “We recommended thermal power plants cooperate with construction businesses to recycle the ashes to make cement,” said Hien. “The Government should also give incentives to businesses which recycle the waste for production.”

However, to minimise the long-term negative impact on the environment, the plants must install dust and gas filter systems of the type used in such plants in other countries.

The plants must also comply with regulations on gas emissions and solid waste discharge and treatment, and regularly measure pollution, the experts suggested.-VNA