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Nam Van Phong refinery still in infancy, six years on
Date: 5/21/2014 9:14:01 AM
Six years since being licensed, the Nam Van Phong oil refinery is still calling for investment capital as its scale has nearly doubled requiring a total $8 billion investment.

illustration photo

 Located in the Nam Van Phong Economic Zone in Khanh Hoa province, the refinery is on the list of 127 large-scale projects calling for foreign investment through 2020.

The local investor in the project is Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), which is calling on foreign investors to join under the joint venture model.

When the project was approved by the government in 2008 it had an expected investment of $4.4 to $4.8 billion with a capacity of 10 million tonnes per year. It was planned to start construction in 2011 and go operational by 2013.

After it received the license, Petrolimex was instructed by the government to conduct an investment plan and feasibility study for the project.

The government also suggested the investor carefully conduct the environmental impact assessment, implement appropriate technologies, design a careful capital structure, and find appropriate partners who could supply crude oil over the long-term.

Near the end of 2011, it was reported that Korea’s Daelim Industrial Corporation had negotiated with Petrolimex to invest in the Nam Van Phong project. The two sides also signed a memorandum of understanding on the investment. However, since then no further information has been released about co-operation between Petrolimex and Daelim.

To this day, the refinery is still calling on investors with total needed capital doubling since 2008 to $8 billion.

The slew of refineries and petrochemical complexes in the pipeline has roused concerns from the public of excessiveness.

However, at the end of last year Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung confirmed that the government would strictly manage the efficiency of these projects.

The only refinery currently operational in the country is the Dung Quat, while the Nghi Son started construction just last year. The remaining projects are still in the preparation phase. Can Tho oil refinery is behind schedule and local authorities have proposed revoking its investment license.

Already in Vietnam there is another refinery, the $28 billion Nhon Hoi, to be financed by PTT of Thailand and located in Binh Dinh province.

Meanwhile, also in the Nam Van Phong area, last year the Khanh Hoa People’s Committee decided to put a stop to a $1.3 billion oil service centre invested in by Sao Mai-Ben Dinh Joint Stock Company (under PetroVietnam) as the firm failed to source the needed capital.

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