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EcoTech Event Looks to Tackle Vietnam's Environmental Problems

With water and air pollution growing problems as Vietnam marches towards industrialisation, exhibitors at the EcoTech event in Ho Chi Minh City offered a range of solutions, including water purification and low-emission motorcycle fuel.

Photo: With 7.43 million motorcycles on the road, HCMC faces a growing problem from exhaust gases. (Shutterstock.com/hanohiki)
With 7.43 million motorcycles on the road, HCMC faces a growing problem from exhaust gases.
Photo: With 7.43 million motorcycles on the road, HCMC faces a growing problem from exhaust gases. (Shutterstock.com/hanohiki)
With 7.43 million motorcycles on the road, HCMC faces a growing problem from exhaust gases.

Gradually, Vietnam's economy is becoming ever more industrialised. Inevitably, such a fundamental change has been accompanied by growing environmental concerns, particularly with regard to contaminated waterways and air pollution.

Against this challenging backdrop, many exhibitors at the recent Vietnam EcoTech event were only too keen to proffer their own take on the green technology required to remedy these emerging problems and ensure a sustainable level of eco-friendly living across the country.

Overall, the four-day exhibition – jointly organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Vietnam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company – set out to showcase the very latest in eco-friendly technology. It was also designated as a key element in the Vietnamese government's action plan on nurturing environmentally friendly growth.

Among the exhibitors at this year's event was Galaxy Water Solutions, a Ho Chi Minh City-based specialist in imported water filtration systems. At present, the company is looking to serve both business and residential clients.

Explaining the need for such a system, Vo Thanh Hung, the company's Consultant Manager, said: "Much of the water in Vietnam is now quite polluted and unsuitable to be drunk from the tap without first being filtered.

"Many Vietnamese people, especially those living in the major cities, are now very concerned about the quality of the water they drink and they are very much our target group. As our systems are sourced from the US and South Korea, users can be assured of their quality and effectiveness."

Among Galaxy's existing clients in Vietnam are Mulberry, Jones Lang LaSalle, Coca-Cola, iPak, EcoPark, Mon Hue Restaurant and Trung Nguyen Coffee.

Another company majoring on water purification was Verall Vietnam, the HCMC-based distributor of the Acropore water purifier and treatment systems range, one of Thailand's leading manufacturers in the sector. As with Galaxy, Verall too is seeing demand for its products soar across the domestic market.

Explaining the current dynamics in the sector, Havy Vu Dang, a Senior Administrator with the business, said: "We have been distributing the Acropore range in Vietnam for five years now. Over that time, we have seen growing concern about the safety and cleanliness of water supplies. This has, inevitably, led to greater demand for purifiers.

"Although the market has become increasingly competitive, we believe we are well-positioned to weather any such challenges. Our products are both affordable and of a high quality, attributes that should ensure our success."

Largely targetting industrial clients, Verall also offers water softeners, ultra filtration systems, water deionisers, electrode ionisation systems, ozone systems and micro-bubble dissolved air flotation systems. It also sells water purifiers and dispensers into the commercial and residential markets.

One overseas company keen to tackle Vietnam's problem with contaminated water sources was Taipei-based HT Green Technology. With four years' experience in tackling Taiwan's own environmental issues, the company has high hopes that its UAV water sampling technology, microscope diagnostic system, big-data analysis capabilities and Internet of Things (IoT) cloud monitoring of water environments will find a ready market in Vietnam.

Photo: Ecoburn: Combustion buster.
Ecoburn: Combustion buster.
Photo: Ecoburn: Combustion buster.
Ecoburn: Combustion buster.
Photo: Galaxy’s water purification range.
Galaxy's water purification range.
Photo: Galaxy’s water purification range.
Galaxy's water purification range.

Assured that the local market has considerable potential, Jericho Liao, an Environmental Engineer working with the company, said: "The technology we have on offer is very different and has already proved effective in Taiwan. We believe Vietnamese waste-water treatment and recycling companies will also see the benefit of using our systems."

One of the few domestic companies to offer complete waste-water treatment, biogas technology solutions and consultancy service is HCMC-based Apo Corp. An early entrant to the scene, the company was launched 14 years ago with a mission to address environmental problems at source.

Highlighting its particular role in countering the country's growing contamination concerns, Van Phong, a Sales Manager with the company, said: "Vietnamese companies are now looking to address their waste-water problems and that's where we come in. We offer a complete biogas system and, every year, we process more than 18 million cubic metres of organic waste."

Apart from waste-water issues, another major problem facing the country is the rising cost of electricity, a development that has led many people to opt for more energy-efficient air coolers. Hoping to capitalise on this particular trend was ApecHome Vietnam, the HCMC-based distributor of a range of Thailand-sourced eco-friendly air-cooling systems.

Confident his company had found a niche in the domestic market, Ly Manh Chung, Apo's Export-Import Officer, said: "Local demand for energy-efficient, eco-friendly appliances is certain to expand on the back of the government's efforts to promote green, sustainable economic growth. Although Chinese products are now flooding the market, we believe we are well-positioned to compete effectively."

Another company to see opportunities emerging from the high domestic cost of electricity was Hengs Technology, a specialist in renewable energy system integration. Headquartered in Tainan, a city on Taiwan's southern coast, Hengs' product range includes standalone solar generator panels, solar pump systems, HSL series outdoor lighting and agricultural solar mounting racks.

Explaining his company's presence at the event, Project Manager Jasper Yeh said: "While the Vietnamese market for solar panels and renewable energy is still in its relative infancy, we can see a big opportunity and have already signed a deal with a local distributor."

Setting out to tackle a particularly Vietnamese problem was MGResource Vietnam, a local subsidiary of a long-established Seoul-headquartered business. In Ho Chi Minh City alone, there are some 7.43 million motorcycles are on the road, representing a considerable challenge to the government's anti-pollution drive and one MGResource believes it can be instrumental in tackling.

The company is the exclusive local distributor of Ecoburn, an innovative fuel-treatment product developed in South Korea. Explaining just how the product could help remedy Vietnam's problem with motorbike-related pollution, Sung Oh Kweon, the company's General Manager, said: "The major cause of greenhouse gases and exhaust gases is the incomplete combustion of carbon. Ecoburn, however, pre-removes the major elements responsible for incomplete combustion and the accumulation of combustion chamber deposits (CCD).

"It also improves fuel efficiency and fuel quality, while reducing greenhouse gases and removing CCD within the combustion chamber. On top of that, it is also suitable for use in both diesel and petrol-driven vehicles."

Another company looking to introduce Korean technology to the Vietnamese market was Vision Bionex, a Seoul-based manufacturer of eco-friendly medical products. The company made the 7,000km round trip in a bid to evaluate the potential of the local market.

Taking a measured approach to committing Bionex to servicing the domestic sector, Company Manager Samuel Jeong, said: "Although Vietnam's pharmaceutical industry is still very small, we hope that the growing need for eco-friendly laboratory products and medicines will help us find a foothold here."

Photo: Contaminated water sources are now a major concern across Vietnam. (Shutterstock.com)
Contaminated water sources are now a major concern across Vietnam.
Photo: Contaminated water sources are now a major concern across Vietnam. (Shutterstock.com)
Contaminated water sources are now a major concern across Vietnam.

Vietnam EcoTech was held from 30 November to 3 December 2016 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center.

Geoff de Freitas, Special Correspondent, Ho Chi Minh City

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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