Although Vietnam initially decided to build only three oil refineries, two are about to be built and others are under construction, while several more are awaiting licenses.
Just one day after the Thai PTT Group submitted plans to build the $22 billion Binh Dinh oil refinery to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), a groundbreaking ceremony for the Vung Ro Oil Refinery was held.
In addition, the construction of the Nghi Son Oil Refinery in Nghi Son Economic Zone kicked off a year ago. Meanwhile, the Canadian Malartic Group has expressed its willingness to develop the Nam Van Phong petrochemistry refinery project.
After 10 years of preparation, the investors of the Vung Ro oil refinery project have finally kicked off a project. The $3.18-billion oil refinery is expected to churn out commercial products by 2017, creating 1,300 stable jobs.
And the Thai PTT Group's $22 billion Nhon Hoi oil refinery project to be built in Binh Dinh Province holds the record in investment capital.
According to Man Ngoc Ly, head of the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone Management, the Nhon Hoi oil refinery is expected to have a capacity of 20 million tons of crude oil a year, four times bigger than Dung Quat Oil Refinery.
Binh Dinh provincial authorities have prepared 2,000 hectares of land for the petrochemistry and refinery complex and have decided to build a deep water port to serve the pumping of crude oil into the oil refinery. Ly said the project was the top priority of the province.
Several other provinces are also expecting oil refinery projects with huge investment capital of tens of billions of dollars.
Currently, only two refineries exist in Vietnam, the small Cat Lai refinery in HCM City and the Dung Quat refinery in Quang Ngai province.
Dung Quat, with a capacity of 6 million tons per annum, can satisfy 30 percent of domestic demand. The investor plans to raise capacity to 10 million tons prior to 2015.
Thanh Hoa province also has an oil refinery, Nghi Son, the construction of which began one year ago. The $9 billion refinery would have a capacity of 10 million tons of crude oil in the first phase and 20 million in the second phase.
Under the oil and gas industry's development plan, Nghi Son and Dung Quat will satisfy two-thirds of total domestic demand for petrochemical products.
Only three projects were mentioned in the oil and gas industry development plan, namely Dung Quat, Nghi Son and Long Son.
However, more and more projects have been added to the development plan, and the number of added projects has become so high that economists fear Vietnam will have “more than enough” oil refineries in the future, while other countries are seeking alternative energy resources.
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