Covid-19 again delays Hanoi waste-to-energy plant

By Tat Dinh   March 5, 2021 | 12:14 pm GMT+7
A plant in Hanoi that will generate electricity from waste has been delayed for a second time, and might only be completed in May.
Workers are seen at the construction site of Thien Y waste-to-energy plant in Hanoi, March 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Cong Trinh

Workers at the construction site of Thien Y waste-to-energy plant in Hanoi, March 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Cong Trinh.

A spokesperson for the Thien Y Environmental Energy JSC, Nguyen Thi Hong Van, said on Thursday that the completion has been delayed by seven months because community transmission of Covid-19 returned in late January and is still badly affecting northern Vietnam, including Hanoi.

One of the workers at the project in Nam Son Commune, Soc Son District had come into contact with a patient, bringing work to a halt as the remaining 1,500 workers and engineers had to stay away from the site, she said.

Then, to ensure social distancing, only 280 of them could work at a time, Van added. "The work is 80 percent complete. We are trying our best to finish it by May. This will be the last time we ask to delay."

In 2019 the company had promised city authorities it would finish the plant in August 2020, and commercial operation could begin two months later.

But the firm said last year it would be unable to meet the schedule since its Chinese contractor Metallurgical Group Corporation was not allowed to bring its experts to Vietnam due to the pandemic, and completion would now be in November 2020.

The VND7 trillion ($302.66 million) plant is in the Nam Son waste treatment complex, Hanoi’s largest landfill.

It will have a capacity of burning 4,000 tons of solid waste, or two-thirds of the city’s garbage, a day and producing 75 MW of electricity annually using European technology.

An overview of Thien Y waste-to-energy plant in Hanoi in July, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

An overview of Thien Y waste-to-energy plant in Hanoi in July, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

In recent years the Nam Son complex has been in the news several times for a long-running dispute over land compensation that repeatedly caused local residents to block entry to it, resulting in trash piling up around the city.

It receives around 5,000 tons of the city’s total of 6,500 tons of solid waste per day. Having been in operation since 1999, the site is now approaching its maximum capacity.

Hanoi sends its remaining 1,500 tons to the Xuan Son landfill in Son Tay Town and other small waste treatment facilities. Xuan Son too is reported to be overloaded.

 
 
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