Work On Vietnam’s First Refinery To Begin Finally

Construction will begin on the much-delayed Dung Quat oil refinery – at US$2.5 billion, Vietnam’s largest-ever project – in the central Quang Nam province November 28, an oil official announced.

The project, which included, besides the refinery, a port, storage facilities, and pipelines, was designed to process 6.5 million tons of crude oil annually, or 130,000 barrels per day, Vu Khanh Truong of state owned oil and gas giant Petro Vietnam said.

France’s Technip led an international consortium including Japan’s JGC Corporation and Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas to ink a contract worth $1.564 billion last May with Petro Vietnam for building tanks for crude oil and finished products, oil pipelines and an offshore oil delivery system, the project’s most crucial components.

The plant would be completed in 44 months and its first product would be Mogas 90 petrol, Truong said.

The refinery project was approved by the National Assembly, the country’s legislative body, in 1997 and was originally scheduled to open in 2002.

Eight years on, only some initial work has been done. It has dragged on because the original foreign partner withdrew, the location was considered unsuitable, and some other problems.

Originally conceived at $1.5 billion, following changes in project design, it is now expected to cost $2.5 billion.

In June this year the National Assembly approved a resolution to speed up construction of the refinery to make it operational in late 2008 or early 2009.

The deal is seen as crucial to giving Vietnam more energy autonomy as, despite being a major crude producer, the nation has to import refined products.

The country exported nearly 13.3 million tons of crude oil valued at some $5.5 billion in the first nine months of this year.

It imported over 8.9 million tons of petroleum products at $3.8 billion.

Reported by Tran Thi Sanh – Translated by Ngoc Hanh.
Story from Thanh Nien News
Published: 23 November, 2005, 21:32:52 (GMT+7)
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