Sunday, November 24, 2013

No “syndrome” of oil refineries in Vietnam, lawmakers reassured

24th Nov 2013
At a recent addressing at the National Assembly, Vietnam Prime Minister reassured the lawmakers on their concerns over the so-called oil refinery “syndrome” in the country that implicated that the oil refining projects Vietnam are blooming unnecessarily. The Prime Minister said there was no such syndrome except for the fact that the state-owned Thai PTT's proposed mega-refinery to be located in Binh Dinh province is the only one so far not included in the master plan [for oil refinery and petrochemical projects].
Groundbreaking Ceremony of Nghi Son Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Complex in Oct 2013 - Source: Nangluongvietnam
“This project is invested by a big Thai oil refining corporation and it’s just in the pre-feasibility study stage; after the study, only when both economic and social effectiveness is proven, then it would be included in the national master plan” he further explained.
He also cited some facts that the Dungquat oil refinery is running at its full capacity of 6 million tones/year and brings about obvious effectiveness; and Russian Gazprom and Vietnamese PVN already inked a cooperation agreement on raising its capacity to 10 million tons/year during a recent visit by Russian president to Vietnam. The work will also upgrade the technical efficiency of motor fuel production to meet the Euro-5 standard. “We basically do not have to pour more money to raise Dungquat refinery’s capacity because its share shall be sold to Gazprom [and Vietnam will use the capital from such sales]”, he acknowledged.
Meanwhile, PetroVietnam and its partners began construction at the 200,000 b/d Nghi Son refinery and petrochemical complex last month. This project is jointly invested by Vietnamese PVN (25% of shares), an Kuweit Petroleum Corporation (35%) and Mitsui Petrochemical Inc (40%) with the total investment estimated at US$ 9 billion. The refinery is planned to finish construction within 40 months and to start commercial operation in 2017. According to Prime Minister Dung, this project will be also very effective because the Kuwait pledges to supply 100% of the input crude oil for the refinery during its lifetime.
Two other proposed 200,000 b/d refinery and petrochemical projects -- PVN's Long Son complex in the southern province of Ba Ria Vung Tau and state-owned Petrolimex's Nam Van Phong project in the central province of Khanh Hoa -- are looking for foreign investors, the prime minister said. Meanwhile, the refinery project in Can Tho (2 million tons per year) is said to face difficulties in financial arrangement and would be likely to be revoked.

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