PetroVietnam and Mitsubishi study feasibility of Vietnam oil refinery

Jan 27, 2003 01:00 AM

PetroVietnam and Mitsubishi are jointly studying the feasibility of building a $ 2.5 bn oil refinery in northern Vietnam, a month after the Russian company ZarubezhNeft quit a separate project to build Vietnam's first refinery.
The state-run Vietnamese oil and gas producer and Japan's largest trading company said they were studying the possible construction of a 7 mm-tpy plant at Nghi Son in Thanh Hoa province, 208 km (130 miles) south of Hanoi.

The plant, if it goes ahead, could start up soon after the country's first refinery project, a 6.5 mm-ton facility at Dung Quat Bay in Quang Ngai province. The latter plant is years behind schedule and is unlikely to be ready before 2006.
While Vietnam produces oil, it had to import $ 2 bn of fuel last year because it has no plant to process its crude. It exported 16.9 mm tons of crude oil last year and imported 10 mm tons of fuels.

ZarubezhNeft withdrawal from the first refinery project came amid disagreement between the Russian and Vietnamese sides over contractors to build the facility. TotalFinaElf of France pulled out of the project in 1995. Later, a group including Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional decided not to participate.
The Russian decision has not affected Mitsubishi's involvement in the second project because the Japanese company has not yet made a decision on whether to invest in the second plant, said Osamu Osawa, senior deputy general manager for Mitsubishi's office in Hanoi.

Source: The International Herald Tribune
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