Top Russian fuel group to invest in Vietnam refinery

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Igor Soglayev (R), CEO of Sarvors which is a member of fuel giant Rosneft, at a meeting with Binh Dinh authorities over the company's interest in the Nhon Hoi refinery

Russia's fuel giant Rosneft has announced its intention to invest in an estimated US$30 billion refinery project in central Vietnam.

Igor Soglayev, CEO of Sarvors which is a member of the group, told Binh Dinh Province authorities over the weekend that the company had communicated with Thailand's top energy firm Public Company Limited (PTT) about being a strategic partner in the Nhon Hoi refinery, news website VnExpress reported. He said the project was "practical".

PTT received the nod from the government to build the refinery in May, despite objections by PetroVietnam, which now owns the country's sole refinery Dung Quat. The Thai company is calling for partners while agreeing to put in 30-40 percent of the cost itself.

Soglayev said they would request consistency in policies and complete infrastructure, which will need to serve between 20,000 and 30,000 people working at a time.

He also said work on a refinery should not last for more than five years.

Binh Dinh chairman Le Huu Loc said the area is located in deep sea water and is convenient for follow-up works like a port, and there are a more than 12,000 hectares available for potential factories.

Soglayev said Rosneft board chairman Igor Sechin will accompany President Vladimir Putin during an official visit to Vietnam next week and he will hold more specific discussions regarding the project.

Rosneft is the top petroleum corporation in Russia, profiting to the tune of around $11.1 billion in 2012. Russian government owns three quarters of the company and BP the other.

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