PetroVietnam lets Nghi Son refinery design contract

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, July 22 -- State-owned PetroVietnam has awarded Foster Wheeler a contract to design the 200,000 b/d Nghi Son refinery and petrochemical project, effective July 18.

Under the contract, Foster Wheeler will finish the designing in 16 months from the day the contract came into force. Scheduled for completion in 2013, the refinery is expected to meet 60% of Vietnam's domestic demand for gasoline and other products.

The Nghi Son project will import oil from Kuwait to produce high-quality products.

The award coincided with reports that Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked contractors of the Dung Quat refinery project in central Quang Ngai province to speed up construction to ensure the planned February 2009 start up.

While visiting the construction site on July 19, Dung reminded lead contractor Technip and its subcontractors of the coming flood and storm season and asked them to keep a close eye on the progress of the project.

Meanwhile, Vietnam National Petroleum Corp. (Petrolimex) has recently received approval from central Khanh Hoa province to build a $4.5 billion refinery in the region.

According to Petrolimex Chief Executive Vu Ngoc Hai, the plant will have a capacity to refine 10 million tonnes/year of oil.

Petrolimex has chosen Sinopec as a partner to carry out the project, and the two sides are said to have discussed setup of a joint venture as well as stake equity to be owned by each party.

Petrolimex also is working with PB Tankers Ltd. of Singapore and the Petrolimex Insurance Joint Stock Co. (PIJSC) to build Vietnam's first bonded warehouse for petroleum.

The depot is an investment of the Van Phong Warehouse Co. Ltd., a joint venture of Petrolimex, PIJSC, and PB Tankers.

Construction on the facility began in December 2007 in the Van Phong Economic Zone in Ninh Hoa district of central Khanh Hoa province.

Nguyen Van Que, director of Van Phong Warehouse, said the project has two phases, with the first phase costing $100 million over 18 months.

The depot will be capable of holding 500,000 cu m of petroleum in Phase 1 and a further 500,000 cu m on the completion of Phase 2. No date has been given for the completion of the second phase.

Van Que said the depot would be equipped with "the latest environmentally friendly technology and would be able to handle 150,000-dwt oil tankers."

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