Vietnam to be handed refinery by builders in April

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Vietnam expects international builders to hand over the country's first oil refinery of Dung Quat this month, Vietnam Oil & Gas Group said in a statement on the government's website.

The state oil company, the plant's investor, expects its contractors to provide a 24-month warranty period after handing over the facility, Tran Thi Binh, deputy chief executive officer of the company known as PetroVietnam, said in the statement. "Contractors will still take responsibility if any technical problems happen."

Dung Quat refinery, based in the central-coastal Quang Ngai province, was shut twice last year after problems developed at a gasoline-producing unit. The facility resumed its operations in January after a catalytic cracker at the unit was replaced, PetroVietnam said on Jan. 11.

The completion of the 148,000 barrel-a-day plant, built by a group of contractors led by France's Technip SA, will help meet about one-third of Vietnam's fuel demand this year, according to PetroVietnam. The Southeast Asian country last year imported 12.5 million metric tons of petroleum products, government figures showed.

The refinery made 2.4 million tons of products as of the end of March, and reached 80 percent of its designed capacity, according to the statement, citing Binh.

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