Work to begin on infrastructure for mega refinery in central Vietnam

By Manh Quan, Thanh Nien News

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The Nhon Hoi Economic Zone in the central province of Binh Dinhof where a US$22-billion oil refinery is set to be built. Photo: Manh Quan The Nhon Hoi Economic Zone in the central province of Binh Dinhof where a US$22-billion oil refinery is set to be built. Photo: Manh Quan


Preparations are underway for building infrastructure to serve a proposed US$22-billion refinery in the central province of Binh Dinh, according to a local official.
Ho Quoc Dung, chairman of the province People’s Committee, told central government officials at a recent meeting that investors have been told to complete paperwork by March 5 so that consultants can start their work.
Infrastructure for the Nhon Hoi refinery, also known as the Victory project, would include electricity and water supply, he said, adding central agencies should support the province by, for instance, assigning funds for works like building a road from Phu Cat airport to the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone, where the plant is to be situated.
To be built by Thai energy firm PTT Pcl. and some other foreign companies, the mega project is expected to get an investment license next month, according to the official.
Construction will begin next year and the 1,400-hectare (3,459-acre) refinery will go on stream three years later with acapacity of 660,000 barrels per day -- one of the world’s biggest.
Its investors plan to import crude from the Middle East, Africa, and South and Central Americas, and export half of its output to China, Japan and other countries in Asia.
In response to the Binh Dinh authority’s call, many officials asked it to make “careful” calculations.
Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the Communist Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, said the project will affect 24 companies already based in the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone, so the authority had to find new locations for their projects and think about how to pay them compensations.
Tran Duy Dong, head of the department managing economic zones at the investment ministry, said it is unclear who would pay the compensation.
Besides, the refinery investors need to furnish more reports on the project since many aspects are still not clear, he said.
The mega project has faced stiff opposition from state-owned giant PetroVietnam, which insists that the Nhon Hoi plant will upset the supply-demand situation in Vietnam.
It had hoped to meet 70 percent of the domestic demand for oil products with its two refineries.
But Nhon Hoi has got backing from the government as well as analysts, who expect it to have a positive impact on the economy by boosting exports and strengthening competition in the domestic market, leading to lower gasoline prices.

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