ADB to lend $100m for Vietnam waste-to-energy PPPs

The multilateral believes a portfolio approach would help create a pipeline of bankable projects in Southeast Asia.

Chinese PPP developer Everbright International has secured a $100 million loan from the Asian Development Bank to develop a portfolio of municipal waste-to-energy PPP projects in Vietnam.

The ADB loan will help finance the construction and operation of as many as six to seven waste-to-energy projects in primary and secondary cities along the Mekong Delta, depending on the project pipeline, according to an ADB spokesperson at a press conference in Hong Kong.

The first of those projects, the Can Tho scheme, is being developed through a Build-Operate-Own model. Currently under construction, it is expected to handle 400 tons of waste every day once it commences operations in August 2018. It has a total investment cost of $47 million, with an operation period of 22 years, including construction.

“The agreement signed today will be a new model to improve solid waste management in cities, and also mitigate climate change by reducing methane and increasing energy generation from renewable sources,” said Christopher Thieme, deputy director general of the ADB’s private sector operations development.

Thieme said at a press conference in Hong Kong that the ADB has been working with Everbright International since 2009, supporting the company’s investments in Chinese environmental projects under the PPP model.

He said this transaction can help introduce some of the Chinese PPP market’s best practices to neighbouring regions such as Vietnam and across Southeast Asia. He described Everbright International’s portfolio business model in the Chinese PPP market as a “powerful” and cost-efficient approach to creating a pipeline of bankable projects in the region.

The Chinese company has delivered 43 waste-to-energy projects in China to operation with a combined processing capacity of 39,100 tons per day and a generation capacity of about 4,300GWh per year as at the end of 2017.

Vietnam generates more than 27.8 million tons of waste every year, with the majority going to landfills. Thieme believes the waste-to-energy market is very underdeveloped and the investment represents a regional importance to facilitate better waste management and produce clean electricity in the region.