Firms eye budding green tech deals

January 06, 2014 | 09:54
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Vietnam’s fight against environmental pollution and climate change is attracting interest from foreign investors.

Foreign firms are keen to investigate the opportunities for environmental technologies  Photo: Le Toan

Water-absorbing sandbag maker Sansei, is among several Japanese enterprises keen to bring environmental protection and climate change responses to Vietnam.

The company’s director Kazumi Sato told VIR that Sansei would open a representative office in Vietnam in early 2014. The company is currently searching for local partners to both distribute and produce its products in Vietnam with the intention to construct a $3-5 million factory.

“Vietnam has floods every year. Our sandbags are useful for people to prevent sudden flooding and disaster. These products are widely used in Japan,” she said.

Sansei representatives intend to visit Vietnam in February and March to conduct market research.

“We’ve selected Vietnam for our products because of the country’s low labour costs and skilled workers,” Sato said.

Japanese firm HBC International’s president and CEO Masami Nakashima also told VIR that lower labour costs were one of the main reasons, combined with strong local demand for  environmental protection, prompting the company to bring its international  standard water treatment products into Vietnam.

“Vietnam will apply a new environmental law with strict regulations forcing enterprises to apply environmental protection solutions. And this will give our products opportunities,” Nakashima said.

The company has already found some local enterprises to produce the products. “We’ll do more research before thinking about the possibility of establishing a factory in Vietnam,” he said.

Hitachi Asia Vietnam’s general director Nobuyuki Nakamura said that his company would engage in Vietnam in power generation, railway, water, urban development and healthcare services. According to Hitachi’s studies, Vietnam’s water treatment technology remains poor in quality. The company is currently conducting a prefeasibility study for a water treatment facility in Binh Duong and another in Danang. “We also want more projects like these in Vietnam,” Nakamura said.

According to Pham Vu Hai, director of Northern Investment Promotion Centre under the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency, Vietnam’s increasing demand for environmental protection technology had attracted investors and enterprises from around the world in search of investment opportunities.

He said foreign investors paid special attention to local legal documents and regulations that could directly affect their performance in Vietnam. For example, environmental investors were waiting to see how the enforcement of the new environmental protection law would be ensured, and what incentives they would be given in Vietnam for their projects.

“We want to work with the government, state-owned and private companies in Vietnam on investment opportunities in distributing our technologies like static mobile incinerators, static or mobile medical waste disposal and energy recovery systems,” said Mark Comerford, international business development manager of the UK’s Spectrum Environmental Group.

The group’s technologies can provide environmentally secure incineration systems with smoke, gas and odour emissions virtually eliminated.

“It is costly to produce environmental protection technology, so investors would need special incentives from the government,” he stressed.

Recently, France’s APB Environment, Ecodas, Eau Pure, ISEA and the Pasteur Institute of Paris all worked with the Ministry of Health and hospitals in Vietnam to introduce modern technology for healthcare waste treatment directly on site, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

By By Nguyen Thanh

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