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HCM City pollution blamed on thermo-power plants, vehicle emissions

The coal-fired power plants in the region are believed to be a main contributor to the increased pollution in HCM City.

HCM City authorities have made public the causes of the increase of pollutants such as PM 10 and PM 2.5 dust, CO and SO2, which have many times exceeded the permitted levels, threatening the health of local people.



The reasons include the tropical convergence activity combined with deep diffused cold air; low temperature with rain, and high air humidity. The smog causing air pollution, which happens periodically, is called Photo Chemie.

However, Phung Chi Sy from ENTEC (the Environmental Technology Centre) said the reasons cited by the HCM City Department of Natural Resources and the Environment are not sufficient. 

The reasons include the tropical convergence activity combined with deep diffused cold air; low temperature with rain, and high air humidity. The smog causing air pollution, which happens periodically, is called Photo Chemie.

According to Sy, the major reason behind the pollution in HCMC is the emission from transport vehicles. Traffic emissions account for 55-60 percent of the causes of pollution, while industrial emissions account for 30-35 percent and remaining from household and construction works.

Regarding industrial emissions, the expert said dust, smoke and emissions from coal-fired thermopower plants are a big contributor to pollution in the city.

There is only one thermopower plant in HCM City and put under the management of the city – Thu Duc. However, the city is surrounded by a series of thermopower plants located in neighboring areas and Mekong Delta.

If the plants run with Chinese technology, they affect the environment quality, even if using modern waste treatment systems. The waste generated from this activity will mainly be dust, coal ash, industrial wastewater, NOx and SO2.

With the ability to emit a long distance from several to tens of kilometers, the ash and slag discharged from the coal thermal power plants can reach HCMC.

“Coal-fired plants are hundreds of kilometers away from HCM City, but they still can affect the city because of the southwest wind,” he said.

“Vietnam suffers from forest fires in Indonesia and bears influences from pollution cases in the world. So, the influences from the coal-fired plants are unavoidable,” he said.

The expert went on to say that though coal-fired power plants are not the major cause in HCM City, the municipal authorities still need to pay attention to the source of pollutants, because the harm isvery worrying.

He said it is necessary to find solutions for transport first, such as restricting old vehicles in circulation, because smoke and dust from transport is the major cause of pollution. 

Thien Nhien


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