Vietnam mulls over $27 bln oil refinery project

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade are conducting a thorough research of a US$27-billion oil refinery project proposed by Thailand's PTT Pcl. energy company.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Le Duong Quang said the Thai company proposed carrying out the project at Nhon Hoi economic zone in the central province of Binh Dinh.

At a recent meeting with the ministry, the investor, however, failed to give clear explanations of many issues related to the project, such as the sources of crude oil, funding, chances of recouping investment, and consumption, Quang said.

First reported in foreign media last November, the refinery was planned to have a capacity of 660,000 barrels per day, and was said to become the largest in the world when it starts operating.

However, many experts have expressed their concerns about the project's feasibility. They said the planned investment was too high, while the capacity exceeds the country's demand, given that Vietnam has already had one refinery and two others are being underway.

The government has forecast that the demand for petroleum products in Vietnam would reach 27 million tons per year by 2025. The proposed refinery, meanwhile, boasted an annual capacity of nearly 30 million tons, according to a report on the VietnamNet news web site.

Vietnam's sole refinery Dung Quat produces 135,000 bpd, or about 6.5 million tons per year, and aims to increase it to 240,000 bpd, or 10 million tons per year.

Meanwhile, Nghi Son Refinery, to be built in Thanh Hoa province, some 200 kilometers south of Hanoi, will have a capacity of 200,000 bpd. Vung Ro Refinery planned in the central province of Phu Yen will produce 90,000 bpd.

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