Technical errors force suspension of Vietnam's sole oil refinery

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Vietnam's state-owned Oil and Gas Group, or PetroVietnam, on Wednesday temporarily closed the country's only oil refinery Dung Quat to rectify technical errors, the second time since it was launched in July 2010.

Nguyen Hoai Giang, general director of Binh Son Refinery & Petrochemical Co., operator of the plant, said the entire operation will be suspended to fix errors discovered Sunday at the flexible joint of the carbon monoxide emission tube at the fluid catalytic cracking unit.

The refinery in the central region's Quang Ngai Province was suspended earlier in May 2012, after two years of operation, also to correct technical errors and only resumed full production on July 8, running 130,500 barrels per day.

Giang said Japanese, French and Italian experts from the refinery contractor Technip, have checked the errors and said they needed more than one week to fix.

He said Technip, the leading France-based constructor in oil and gas, petrochemical and energy fields, is responsible for all the errors found so far.

Binh Son and Technip have been discussing solutions to the new problem. They have considered some online solutions which would not require the plant to close, but the errors have been assessed as being more serious than that, Giang said.

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