SABECO invests in rooftop solar system, contributing to green growth

Monday, May 15, 2023 18:28

SABECO and SP Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise a partnership to expand the 2nd phase of rooftop solar energy system installation and operation. — Photo courtesy of the firm

Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (SABECO) and SP Group (SP) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise a partnership to expand the 2nd phase of rooftop solar energy system installation and operation, with a maximum output of 10,44MWp at 9 SABECO’s breweries.

This will bring the total number to 17 breweries adopting solar energy in SABECO’s system by the end of 2023.

The 1st phase kick-started in 2020, with SABECO investing more than VND107 billion (US$4.5 million) into rooftop solar power systems with a maximum output of 9 MWp at Cu Chi, Dak Lak, Phu Yen, Quy Nhon, Song Lam, Khanh Hoa, Soc Trang and Ben Tre breweries. The success of 1st phase implementation has led to the expansion of 2nd phase with an additional nine breweries.

The rooftop solar system installed in the first phase at Saigon Quang Ngai Beer Factory. — Photo courtesy of the firm

Under the MoU, SP has been commissioned by SABECO to install and operate the rooftop solar panels at nine of SABECO’s breweries including Cu Chi (expansion), Lam Dong, Ha Tinh, Ha Noi, Tay Do, Vinh Long, Nguyen Chi Thanh, Bac Lieu and Quang Ngai.

The installment is scheduled to be complete and the system is expected to go into full operation by the end of the third quarter of the year. The whole system (17 breweries) is estimated to efficiently provide almost 23 per cent of electricity consumption at the breweries, amounting to 25 million kWh saving of electricity, which is equivalent to a reduction of 18,000 tonnes of emitted CO2 annually. This will contribute to the company’s target to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Bennett Neo, General Director of SABECO, said: “SABECO always seeks to implement initiatives and solutions that support sustainable business operations of our company. Over the past few years, we have already embarked on various ESG (Environment, Society and Governance) initiatives through our 4C corporate social responsibility pillars (Consumption, Conservation, Culture and Country). We also have implemented Best Brewery Awards to encourage our breweries to embed a sustainability mindset which is consistent with SABECO’s vision and our commitment to National Green Growth objectives for the period 2021-30."

Brandon Chia, Managing Director, Sustainable Energy Solutions (Southeast Asia & Australia), SP Group, said: “This partnership demonstrates our commitment to facilitating the clean energy transition of our customers by advancing the adoption of renewable energy sources for manufacturing facilities. Leveraging our comprehensive range of sustainable energy solutions, we look forward to supporting SABECO towards their energy efficiency goals and co-creating a more sustainable future for Viet Nam.”

An overview of Saigon Cu Chi Beer Brewery. — Photo courtesy of the firm

To maximise the solar energy generated and consumed at SABECO’s breweries, both SP and SABECO will study the feasibility of incorporating energy storage systems (ESS) at selected breweries. The incorporation of ESS will allow SABECO to manage the issue of supply intermittency, as solar power can fluctuate due to weather conditions.

Apart from energy usage, SABECO has implemented various other initiatives to mitigate environmental impact. This includes driving continuous improvement in water usage where SABECO has reduced waste used per litre of beer produced from 5 litres in 2018 to below 3 litres in 2022. In addition to these, SABECO has embarked on plant-based biomass fuel (rice hulls, sawdust, cashew shell and leaves) usage instead of using fossil fuel-powered boilers, applying the CIP wastewater treatment system; using sustainable packaging (down gauged our cans, light weighted our carton boxes and bottles) and reusing beer glasses and cans.

SABECO also promotes other sustainability initiatives which focus on surrounding local communities where it operates.

One recent project “Light up the Rural” which is part of the 3-year strategic partnership between SABECO and the Central Committee of the HCM Communist Youth Union, has constructed 34 kilometres of street lighting that uses solar power in 34 rural areas in 34 provinces across the country.

This initiative aims to improve local socio-economic infrastructure by promoting the use of renewable energy and bringing a sustainable and safe environment to more than 210,000 beneficiary households. The project will be expanded in 2023 with more than 39 km of solar street lights expected to be installed. — VNS

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