Dung Quat refinery eyes 18 pct growth in output

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Vietnam's sole oil refinery, Dung Quat in the central province of Quang Ngai, has set itself a production target of 6.5 million tons of oil and revenues of VND120 trillion (US$5.75 billion) this year.

The US$3-billion refinery also plans to raise its capacity from 135,000 barrels per day to 240,000 barrels, news website Vietnamplus reported Sunday.

Last year the refinery produced around 5.5 tons million of products after shutting down for 68 days over several occasions.

The plant, which meets 30 percent of the country's demand for oil products, has been working at full capacity since mid-August when it shut down for a week to fix a problem in a processing unit.

Built in 2009, it only completed trial runs and began operation last year after being shut down for nearly two months starting in early May for a final check.

Work on the country's second refinery, Nghi Son in the central province of Thanh Hoa, will begin in May this year and the refinery will go on stream in 2016.

The 200,000 barrels-per-day plant, to cost an estimated $7.5 billion, was originally scheduled to start operations next year, but things were delayed after one of the two Japanese investors decided to pull out before changing its mind.

Nghi Son is a joint venture by Petrovietnam, Kuwait Petroleu

m International, and Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd and Mitsui Chemicals Inc.

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Thailand's PTT Pcl. is planning to build a US$28.7 billion refinery, also in central Vietnam, with a capacity of 660,000 bpd.

Work on the plant, which would be one of the largest in the world, is likely to begin in 2016.

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