JX Nippon, PDVSA interested in Vietnam refinery stakes: report

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Japan's JX Nippon Oil and Energy Corp and Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA could sign a memorandum of understanding with Petrovietnam to join the expansion plan of Vietnam's Dung Quat oil refinery, a local newspaper said on Wednesday.

Vietnam's state oil and gas group has offered the two foreign firms a feasibility plan for the refinery expansion, which was conducted by Japanese engineering firm JGC Corp, the Planning and Investment Ministry-run Vietnam Investment Review said.

Petrovietnam, the facility owner, plans to sell a 49 percent stake of the $2.2 billion refinery to foreign partners to raise funds for the expansion plan.

The refinery chief executive officer has said expansion works will start this year to raise its annual processing capacity by 54 percent to 10 million tons, or 200,800 barrels per day (bpd).

The expansion plan will be completed in the next two weeks and Petrovietnam has been working with the two foreign partners on the signing, a Petrovietnam source said.

After the expansion is completed by 2017, Dung Quat refinery will process sour crude oil imported from the Middle East and Venezuela instead of the sweet crude Bach Ho grade, the facility operator, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co, has said.

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