Coal fired power plants generate 12.2 million tons of waste a year

SGGP
The volume of coal ash released from coal fired power plants approximates 12.2 million tons a year across the country with 60 percent of the volume concentrating in the northern region, reported deputy minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong on January 5.

A view of the explanation session (Photo: SGGP)

A view of the explanation session (Photo: SGGP)

He was speaking at an explanation session organized by the Science, Technology and Environment Committee of the National Assembly on treatment of coal ash from coal-fired power plants and gypsum and blast furnace slag from fertilizer and chemical plants.  

According to Mr. Vuong, 21 percent of the coal ash is in the central region and 19 percent in the southern region.

In 2017, coal ash consumption neared four million tons accounting for 30 percent of the discharged amount. Of these, the northern region consumed 3.25 million tons.

Some businesses have successfully processed gypsum from fertilizer and chemical plants into synthetic gypsum. However they have perfunctorily operated because of limited consumption.

The ministry proposed the National Assembly to consider revising the Law on Environmental Protection 2014 and issue of a resolution on thermal power development to ensure energy security in association with environmental protection. In addition, it suggested revising Decree 38/2015 toward supplementation of legal tools for ministries and agencies to better coal ash management, having specific regulations on the management of this type of waste and building policies encouraging use of unburnt construction materials.

Delegates at the meeting said that in the world coal ash from power plants, gypsum and blast furnace slag from fertilizer and chemical plants are popularly used for production in other industries.

Ministries and agencies directly related to the late issue of standards and technical regulations in the field should explain reasons and responsibilities to find efficient solutions.

Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyen Van Sinh said that as of December 2018, there have been 17 standards and technical regulations on the use of coal ash from coal fired thermal power plants.

Currently the Ministry of Construction is assigning some agencies to study improvement of the standards and regulations system.

According to Mr. Sinh, the current standard and regulation system is enough to guide localities to use coal ash from coal fired power plants for construction materials production.

Stating at the meeting, deputy chairman of the National Assembly Phung Quoc Hien emphasized the need of having solutions for coal ash treatment, admitting that the limitation is partially due to the Environmental Protection Law and the insufficient system of standards and regulations confusing localities and businesses in handling the waste.

He proposed to refer to advanced nations to soon issue the sufficient system of standards and regulations.

By ANH THU – Translated by Ngoc Thanh

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