In May 2012, XP Power opened an electronic power converting manufacturing plant in the province of Binh Duong, Vietnam. Normally, this wouldn’t exactly be a thrilling headline, but what makes this plant so unusual is that it is considered to be the world’s most environmentally friendly manufacturing facility. Its sustainable features are so extensive that the plant will be the first building of any kind in Vietnam to be awarded the “Green Mark Gold Plus Mark” by the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore.
The manufacturing plant design incorporates both energy efficiency and use of sustainable power. The design makes use of eco-friendly glass to fight against solar heat gain in the plant, a solar PV array, very high efficiency insulation, state-of-the-art low energy use lighting and super-efficient air conditioning. In addition, the XP Power facility collects and uses rainwater for building needs and outdoor irrigation systems. To make sure these environmental features operate at full efficiency, they’re managed by completely integrated computer building management systems.
This marvel of efficiency technology doesn’t come cheap. Investors are paying high costs upfront and betting that the lower cost of running an energy-efficient plant combined with the expected return on investment will work out in their favor. Things like a solar PV array convert sunlight into electricity and are considered a key source of sustainable power. Eco-friendly glass uses sophisticated technology to coat glass so that it has superior insulating qualities in both hot and cold climates and all climates in between. Obviously, collecting and using rainwater for indoor and outdoor use is an efficient use of water resources that can be replenished for free.
XP Power says that the plant is simply an extension of its environmental commitment as demonstrated by its product line. The power supplies they manufacture are rated as highly as 95 percent efficient and feature a low standby power to reduce energy loss when the customer’s operations are not running.
These types of products are becoming increasingly important to industrial retailers that sell electrical supplies to businesses. Energy-efficient parts are in demand by brands seeking simultaneously to lower their overall costs and prove their commitment to the environment, thereby pleasing environmental organizations and making an impression on the large demographic of environmentally conscious consumers.
The plant itself is also notable for XP Power as a company, since it makes it the only power supply manufacturer that is a member of the electronic Industry Citizen Coalition; an organization that is dedicated to sustainability and issues involving labor, health and safety as well as business ethics.
Some speculate that if other companies like XP Power begin operations in Vietnam it will have the potential to be an attractive alternative to China. It’s not a shift that would halt China’s slowing growth, but it could help Vietnam assure its financial future.
Larry Tracey, Chairmen of XP Power said:
“The opening of this new factory embodies our commitment to lead our industry regarding environmental performance. Sustainability and sound environmental stewardship are increasingly important to our customers, employees, suppliers and the communities in which we operate.”
XP Power’s Vietnam manufacturing facility is in the My Phouc Industry Park and encompasses some 11,600 square meters. It was designed and built by Boustead Projects, a Singapore company engaged in infrastructure projects in 79 countries.
XP Power has already invested over $8.5 million (USD) in the facility and is planning on an additional expenditure of up to $3 million more in 2013.
Energy and manufacturing are two industries that splashed into the national conversation over the past year. If the XP Power facility opens a new manufacturing market in Vietnam and that country proves a cozy alternative to China’s lawless regulation purgatory, then we could see a seismic shift in the economic powers regarding energy and manufacturing.
Whatever happens, the future is looking green.