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Foreign firms to build Vietnam’s second oil refinery

Companies from Thailand, China, Australia, Malaysia and the UK will develop a multi-billion US dollar crude oil refining and petrochemical complex with annual capacity of 7-8.4 million tons of crude oil in Vietnam’s central Thanh Hoa province, according to local newspaper Vietnam Investment Review on Monday.

Following a memorandum of agreement signed by the provincial authorities and Thailand-based Saha Regal Best in late 2007, the Thai firm and its partners – China’s Kunming No. 1 Construction and Engineering, Australia’s Leighton Holdings, Honeywell Limited and Global Union, Malaysia’s Transkon Group, and the UK’s Jardin Lloyd Thompson - want to develop the Nghi Son complex which will produce liquefied gas, unleaded petrol, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel and asphalt.

The Thai-led alliance also plans to build a purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant with annual capacity of 30,000-40,000 tons, a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) factory with annual capacity of 300,000 tons, a polypropylene plant with annual capacity of 10,000 tons, and a xylene factory with annual capacity of 400,000 tons. “As listed in the nation’s wish list for foreign direct investment until 2010, the Vietnamese government is welcoming foreign investors to set up joint ventures and wholly foreign-invested entities to develop Vietnam’s Nghi Son oil refinery and petrochemical complex in the north, as well as the Long Son oil refinery in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province,” said an official from the country’s Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The $6 billion Long Son oil refinery is expected to have annual capacity of 10 million tons of crude oil, and become operational by 2013. Vietnam’s first oil refinery, Dung Quat in central Quang Ngai province with annual processing capacity of 6.5 million tons of crude oil, is under construction, and expected to operate in the Q2 of 2009. Its investor is the state-run Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) (