Dung Quat refinery on track for 2009

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 23 -- Petrovietnam next month plans to import 52,500 tonnes of diesel to test-run the 140,000 b/d Dung Quat refinery, the country's first, due to come on stream in February 2009.

The facility will use about 30,000 b/d of Vietnam's own Bach Ho crude next year when it is put into trial operation, running at 30,000 b/d during February through May. It will then increase to 60,000 b/d before reaching 120,000 b/d by yearend 2009.

Meanwhile, the refinery already has signed a contract to sell Marubeni 75,000-150,000 tonnes/year of propylene in 2009-10, with the price to be determined on the basis of Singapore's market.

The reports came as Vietnam's steering board for key oil and gas projects reviewed the pace of construction of the Dung Quat refinery project.

Truong Van Tuyen, deputy general director of Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, said that contractors have completed more than 90% of bidding packages since groundbreaking in June 2005.

In particular, Truong noted that the EPC 5A bidding package to build a breakwater for the refinery was completed in May, 5 months ahead of schedule. The refinery management board has also put several completed subprojects on test runs.

The Ding Quat refinery, wholly owned by Petrovietnam, has a design capacity of 6.5 million tonnes/year and is expected to meet a third of the country's demand for oil products.

Earlier this month, the state-owned Petrovietnam asked the government for permission to sell a portion of Dung Quat oil refinery stock to foreign partners, according to Petrovietnam chairman Dinh La Thang.

With no previous refining capacity, Vietnam imported 9.6 million tonnes of petroleum products in the first 8 months of this year, up 13.7% over 2007, according to the country's General Statistics Office.

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