26 Aug WHA Industrial Zone erected as model of sustainability
Growing environmental awareness is prompting some of the biggest industrial estate operators to take measures to protect vital water resources in Vietnam.
Thailand’s WHA Group, developer of WHA Industrial Zone in the central province of Nghe An, has begun the mission of building a green industrial estate. From its earliest days in Thailand, WHA has always considered that its facilities must co-exist with the environment in a harmonious and sustainable manner. As a result, the company has been carefully designing all its infrastructure and managing all its utilities to ensure minimum environmental impact, and that is no exception in Vietnam.
As one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and with a 2019 GDP growth forecast at 6.7 per cent, Vietnam is facing the problems of rapid development as well as pollution. In particular, water pollution is continuing to rise at an alarming rate.
David Nardone, WHA Group vice chairman of the Board and Group Executive of Industrial and International, upheld the company’s staunch commitment for more environmentally friendly initiatives. “With projects that can be as simple as tree-planting activities and more sophisticated efforts such as constructed wetlands or energy production, we take pride in partnering with all stakeholders and government agencies to ensure environmental sustainability,” Nardone said.
WHA has recognised the value and importance of non-renewable water resources, as well as the importance of environmental conservation and social responsibility. Therefore, water preservation is a policy imposed to underline the company’s strong commitment to efficiently using resources in its operations and manufacturing activities. Leveraging its extensive experience, WHA is ready to implement the same model and knowhow at the WHA Industrial Zone in Nghe An, applying the same environmental standards as found at its 11 industrial estates across Thailand.
One of the key factors in successful operation in the utility business is access to a sufficient raw water source to supply to all enterprises inside the industrial estates. Therefore, as part of its 498-hectare Phase 1, WHA Industrial Zone 1 features well-designed infrastructure and utilities, including industrial water supply with an expandable capacity of 15,000 cubic metres per day, wastewater treatment, storm drainage, and flood protection systems.
The company’s wastewater treatment plant will use a proven biological technology implemented in WHA industrial estates in Thailand. The facility includes primary and secondary aerated lagoons and a constructed wetland system of 3,200-9,600 cubic metres a day (expandable). Wastewater will lead to holding ponds for treatment. About 30 per cent of the total land area is also dedicated to creating green spaces that will act as a buffer zone.
The water system is safe, cost-effective, and reliable while drainage networks are designed to limit flood risks, with wastewater leading to holding ponds for treatment.
Similar to some of its industrial estates in Thailand, in Nghe An, the group is implementing a constructed wetland system – a chemical-free and environmentally-friendly wastewater solution.
Vietnam is a key market for WHA in its regional expansion strategy as the country has a growing population and high economic growth, which in turn leads to an increase of manufacturing activities. To capitalise on the demand, WHA Utilities and Power Public Co., Ltd. (WHAUP) has begun operations of a utilities business in Vietnam by establishing a subsidiary since May last year.
The subsidiary invests in the industrial water business in the WHA Industrial Zone Nghe An project and has obtained a 49-year right to operate in the area. WHAUP will develop water utilities covering the first phase of the project and demand for industrial water, and wastewater treatment of approximately 12,000 and 9,600cu.m per day, respectively. The subsidiary as water service provider, will provide a total solution concept including water services and wastewater treatment to industrial customers.
In addition to waste conservation efforts, WHA is also paying attention to the design of roads and utilities to optimise efficiency. For lower-energy consumption, LED bulbs are being used for all street lights. Another important feature that will be included is the Environmental Monitoring System which will track relevant green data within the manufacturing area.