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Ha Noi to expand biogas project

In Ha Noi, Vietnam, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is to invest $100 million (€73.6 million) over an eight-year period to expand its Biogas Programme.

The expansion project will see a further 100,000 biogas generators installed on farms across 35 provinces.

According to the deputy director of the ministry’s Animal Husbandry Department Nguyen Thanh Son, ‘Accomplishing this target would help increase the efficiency of the restructuring animal husbandry process which is underway and enable farmers to take the initiative in coping with climate change.’

It is not just owners of the small-scale farms who would benefit from the project. Larger centralised farm owners are also set to receive beneficiaries, as the amount of financial aid they are entitled to will increase to a minimum of $154 million, up from between $51 and $61.

Ministry statistics demonstrate that 100,000 biogas generators have already been installed throughout the nation, generating renewable energy for use in cooking and farming, as well as for lighting.

It is estimated that every one operational generator in Vietnam eliminates two tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

However there are some drawbacks associated with the Biogas Programme. Poor design, high building costs and a limited number of technical officials and builders have all been reported in the first phase of the project. In addition, according to the deputy minister Dien Kinh Tan, of the estimated 8.5 million farming households in Vietnam, only one-fifth of them have biogas generators. ‘Animal farming is thriving but of the 18,000 livestock farms, only 60% treat waste with the help of the generators,’ he said.

Ha Noi is the leading user of biogas generators, accounting for one-tenth of the country’s total.