Vietnam 2nd refinery construction delayed to Q1 2012

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Construction of the $7.5 billion Nghi Son oil refinery, Vietnam's second such facility, is likely to be delayed until the first quarter of 2012 instead of the last quarter this year, a senior executive from one of the contractors said on Thursday.

The 200,800 barrel-per-day (bpd) plant will process sour Kuwaiti crude oil, said Dominique Peiffert, General Director of French oil services group Technip SA in Vietnam.

"We are ready to start the construction and is now waiting for the owner," he said on the sidelines of an oil and gas expo in Hanoi.

Construction of the Nghi Son plant, owned by Petrovietnam, Kuwait Petroleum International, Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co and Mitsui Chemicals Inc, will take between three and four years to complete, said Peiffert.

The French group, Japanese engineering firm JGC Corp and Spanish oil engineering group Tecnicas Reunidas are building the plant in northern Thanh Hoa province, 215 km (134 miles) south of Hanoi.

Hideto Murakami, General Director of Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical Co, the owner of the plant, confirmed the delay.

"We are targeting to start construction early next year," he said via the telephone. Industry sources said the delay is due to financing issues and government procedures, but Murakami declined to comment on this.

Early this month, Vietnam's state oil and gas group Petrovietnam said it planned to start construction in the last quarter this year.

Kuwait Petroleum International will receive funding from the International Finance Corporation to build and develop the Nghi Son refinery, its chairman was reported on Sept. 30 as saying.

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