Green production – The key to sustainable development puzzle at Masan High-Tech Materials
Green manufacturing is emerging as a “lever” for enterprises to achieve sustainable growth, enhance competitiveness, and gain the trust of customers and partners by making a real difference. Masan High-Tech Materials, a member of Masan Group, has been continuously implementing green manufacturing practices and sustainable development goals to build stable and sustainable communities across Vietnam.
To become the leading integrated supplier of high-tech advanced materials critical to global innovation, throughout its 11-year development, Masan High-Tech Materials has transformed from a single mining project into a leading global high-tech industrial material supplier. The company’s product lines play a key role in the supply chains of various global businesses in semiconductors, 3D printing, robotics, electric vehicles, medical care, and the aerospace industry.
Masan High-Tech Materials’ position is underpinned through its in-house research and development (R&D) facilities in Germany and Vietnam, supported by its fully-owned commercial laboratory ChemiLytics.
ChemiLytics is the No.1 refractory analytical laboratory in Europe, and is one of the largest industrial laboratories in Germany for inorganic elemental analysis and powder characterisation. These facilities are focused on technology and innovation across the entire mineral and metal processing chain and are recognised as a key pillar in Masan High-Tech Materials’ success and long-term sustainability.
Sustainability through green manufacturing
Masan High-Tech Materials has primed investment and human capital to optimise its global network of processing facilities and improve the consistency of product quality and production efficiency. More precise production processes increase product yields, reduce waste, and minimise environmental impact. They also help reduce the consumption of items like energy, water, reagents, and other auxiliaries and minimise waste and by-product streams, therefore bolstering the sustainability of operations.
Sustainability is also fostered through the development of new and alternative products. By cooperating with customers, observing global trends, and the company’s own internal R&D activities, Masan High-Tech Materials yields a steady stream of new and innovative products. The new products can be tailored to customers’ needs or be developed specifically for new manufacturing techniques or the production of new materials. These products also enable the company’s customers to enhance sustainability through superior production efficiency.
Masan High-Tech Materials’ commitment to advanced technological development and innovation is not only evident in its highly efficient and automatic processing facilities around the world – it is also shown by the issuance of over 105 patents for innovative products. Its Vietnamese tungsten production facility has also been granted high-tech enterprise status by the government.
High-tech materials to feed global industries
The acquisition of H.C. Starck’s global tungsten business has provided Masan High-Tech Materials with advanced manufacturing centres in each of the key market geographies of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Canada), the EU (Germany), and the Asia-Pacific (China), a world-class recycling technology platform.
Masan High-Tech Materials has managed to sort out 75 per cent of its raw material needs by recycling tungsten scrap material purchased or received from customers within the framework of its conversion and recycling programmes in 2020. This is an encouraging result compared to the 25-30 per cent global recycling rate in the global tungsten industry, and fluctuates greatly between different regions across the world from 15 to 50 per cent.
Most recently, H.C. Starck Tungsten Powders has developed a new process for high-pressure reverse osmosis in the production of tungsten chemicals which significantly reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions compared to conventional processes. H.C. Starck is already using the process at its Goslar site for the concentration of ammonium metatungstate solutions on an industrial scale.
Because of its positive environmental impact, the development project was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The innovative use of membrane technology reduces energy consumption by more than 95 per cent at a production volume of around 1,000 tonnes of ammonium metatungstate a year. At the same time, this scenario reduces climate-damaging CO2 emissions by around 900 tonnes – a real win-win situation for the business and the environment alike.
Kick-starting journey leading to carbon neutrality
With the mission to be a leader in the global high-tech materials industry, Masan High-Tech Materials has outlined a clear roadmap towards carbon neutrality and climate protection. The strategy centres around enhancing energy efficiency and the generation of renewable energy to cover the group’s needs. As a first step towards these ambitious goals, the company has reviewed its greenhouse gas emissions inventory following the guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
To secure the essential green and clean energy for its operations, the company has been working with partners to seek development opportunities and install a solar farm at Nui Phao mine in the northern province of Thai Nguyen, which will play a key role in its energy strategy for the next 5-10 years.
To capture carbon commensurate with its emissions, the company has reclaimed 26.7 hectares of acacia forests near the Nui Phao mine site. The forest is now a major carbon absorption sink for the company. Masan High-Tech Materials will also monitor the amount of carbon absorbed from the area.
Masan High-Tech Materials is the global leader in providing advanced tungsten materials used in key industry sectors such as electronics, chemicals, automotive, aviation and aerospace, energy, and pharmaceuticals with its own production facilities in Vietnam, Germany, Canada, and China, supplying the world. As the largest manufacturer of mid-stream tungsten products outside of China, the company has two R&D centres in Germany and Vietnam, and it is currently operating Nui Phao polymetallic mine and a state-of-the art processing plant in Thai Nguyen province. Masan High-Tech Materials is also a globally significant producer of fluorspar and bismuth.