Having lost patience with a Thai oil company, officials in Binh Dinh province in southern Vietnam have scrapped a $20bn oil refinery and petrochemicals plant after the Thai firm once again postponed a final decision on whether to start building.
The announcement was made by the provincial committee’s chairman Ho Quoc Dung, who says the long delay in the project’s implementation after three years of registration for investment affected its feasibility and the province’s attractiveness to other investors. PTT is still awaiting clarification. “We have not received an official notification from the government of Vietnam,” PTT tells CW.
The news follows a recent decision by Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), PTT’s JV partner, to pull out of the project. The partners submitted in 2014 a joint, detailed feasibility study to the government of Vietnam for the project, the Victory Project, to be developed in Binh Dinh Province. Each of the partners was expected to hold 40% in the project, and a Vietnamese partner was expected to hold the remaining 20%.
The inability to find a local partner has prompted Aramco to withdraw from the project. PTT, following Aramco’s withdrawal, transferred PTT’s share in the scheme to IRPC Public Co. Ltd. (Bangkok), PTT’s affiliate active in refining and petrochemicals. The companies were seeking a foreign partner to replace Aramco and continued with discussions with local companies for the remaining 20% stake.
The Nhon Hoi Oil Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, in the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone, was expected to break ground this year. It was to have been based on a 400,000–barrels per day oil refinery feeding a 1.4-million metric tons per year (MMt/y) naphtha cracker with downstream units designed to produce a combined 5 MMt/y of petrochemicals. The original plan was to have the complex onstream in 2021, but delays pushed the commissioning to 2025.
Vietnam cancels mega refinery & petrochemical jv with PTT