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Betolar signs a deal in Vietnam with Trung Hieu Development Corporation for cement-free concrete production

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World Cement,

Betolar, the Finnish materials technology company, and the Vietnamese concrete block manufacturer Trung Hieu Investment and Development Corporation have signed a commercial agreement for the production of low-carbon, circular economy concrete products using their Geoprime solution. The agreement is Betolar's first in the Vietnamese market. Betolar provides a cement alternative, Geoprime, that supports the transition to green buildings and infrastructure.

“Vietnam is the world’s third largest cement producer and fourth largest cement consumer, with 85 million t consumed annually. We estimate that the Vietnamese market represents a significant commercial opportunity for us in the coming years, as there is a huge potential for cement replacement,” says Juha Pinomaa, Head of Asia, Betolar.

With the factory located in the Dong Nai province, Trung Hieu is serving the fast-growing Ho Chi Minh City construction market. Trung Hieu is a manufacturer of construction blocks and paving stones, with the production capacity of manufacturing 100 million blocks i.e 120 000 tpy. Based on the agreement, Trung Hieu will have the right to use the Geoprime solution in the manufacture of its concrete products.

Trung Hieu benefits from Betolar's continuous product development, expert services and data support in the manufacture of the products. It also has the right to use the Geoprime trademark in its products manufactured in accordance with the concept.

“It is important for us to be able to offer low-carbon concrete as the demand for sustainable concrete products is growing rapidly. We will collaborate with Betolar to move our manufacturing fully to low-carbon concrete products during 2023,” says Ms. Luyen Nguyen, CEO and Owner of Trung Hieu.

Vietnam is taking an active approach into finding ways to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the usage of agricultural soil for construction material production, while responding to the needs of rapid urbanisation and population growth. The Vietnamese government is driving a shift from traditional red bricks to cement based concrete blocks that are produced without heat, aiming to shift 40 – 45% of the total annual production of 26 billion construction bricks to concrete bricks by 2030.

“We can promote the local circular economy and leapfrog Vietnam’s sustainable development efforts by offering cement-free alternatives. The Vietnamese steel and energy industry generates large amounts of steel slag and fly ash as side streams, which can be used for Geoprime-based concrete,” says Betolar’s Head of Asia, Juha Pinomaa.

Trung Hieu is one of the pioneering companies in Vietnam in the field of production of concrete blocks. The geopolymer technology from Betolar enables manufacturing with up to 80% less CO2 emissions on raw materials and the ability to use local industrial side streams. In Vietnam, local material production is important due to the high cost of transportation between the cities.

Urbanising Vietnam is accelerating the green transition

Vietnam is actively looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of agricultural soil in the production of building materials, while meeting the needs of rapid urbanisation and population growth.

Up until now there have been many efforts to support Vietnam finding more sustainable ways of responding to rapid urbanisation and development, including from UNDP, World Bank, the Vietnam Green Building Council as well as various Overseas Development Agencies and NGOs.

“There is an increased pressure on natural resources due to the growing economy and population as well as urbanisation. Vietnam's long coastline and concentration of population in two low-lying delta regions makes it one of the five most vulnerable countries to sea level rise in the world", says Mr. Tim Middleton, Board Member of the Vietnam Green Building Council. "I am excited to see Betolar starting Geoprime production in Vietnam. We are in a great need of innovative materials for decarbonising and achieving a more sustainable built environment in Vietnam."

Sustainable materials technology solution

Betolar has developed the Geoprime solution for the production of durable, sustainable and low-carbon concrete by utilising industrial side streams as an alternative for cement. Betolar thus enables the green transition of different industries and makes concrete a sustainable building material.

The Geoprime solution brings immediate reductions in CO2 emissions without major changes in the manufacturing process. Betolar is developing a recipe-optimising data platform that will bring together concrete manufacturers and side streams producers.

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