Foreign-owned refinery licensed in Vietnam

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 21 -- Vietnam's central Phu Yen Province has licensed a joint venture of the UK's Techno Star Management (51%) and Russia's Telloil (49%) to build a 4 million tonne/year oil refinery.

Capitalized at more than 27,480 billion Vietnamese dong ($1.7 billion), the Vung Ro refinery in the province's Dong Hoa district will be the country's first wholly foreign-owned oil refinery.

An official from the Phu Yen Planning and Investment Department said the Vung Ro oil refinery should become operational in 2012, when Vietnam's demand for petroleum products will surge to an estimated 20 million tonnes/year from 12.5 million tonnes in 2006.

Meanwhile, a $3.7 billion project to build the Long Son oil refinery complex in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau Province is awaiting an investment license, according to the Vietnam Oil & Gas Group (Petrovietnam).

Nguyen Viet Son, director of Petrovietnam's Oil Processing Department, said his group and the Vietnam Chemical Corp. (Vinachem) will contribute 29% of the total investment. The remaining 71% will be provided by two Thai partners, Siam Cement Group and Thailand Plastic Co.

If licensed, the first phase of the project is scheduled for completion in 2011 and the whole project in 2013.

Petrovietnam plans to build three refineries with combined capacities of 20 million tonnes/year, two in central Thanh Hoa and Quang Ngai Provinces and one in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau Province.

Vietnam imported nearly 10.4 million tonnes of petroleum products in the first 10 months of 2007, 12.1% over the comparable 2006 period, according to the General Statistics Office.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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