By VU TRONG KHANH
HANOI -- Thailand's largest oil and gas conglomerate PTT has started working on the feasibility study for a project to build a mega oil refinery in Vietnam that, once completed, would turn the Southeast Asian country into a net oil product exporter from an importer.
Sukrit Surabotsopon, PTT's senior executive vice president for petrochemical and refining, told Vietnamese media Thursday that the study will be completed by May next year, according to a report from online news provider VnExpress.
The refinery, with a capacity of 660,000 bpd and a price tag of between $25 billion and $30 billion, would be built in the central coastal province of Binh Dinh, the report said.
PTT has chosen McKinsey, Foster Wheeler and IHS as advisors for the project, it said, adding that the refinery would be operational from 2020.
It said the refinery would produce 33 million tpy of oil and petrochemical products, 50% of which would be sold in Vietnam with the rest for exports.
Vietnam's sole refinery, the 130,000-bpd Dung Quat refinery, started production in 2009. It meets only around one third of the country's demand for oil products.
Local media reported last month that Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, or Petrovietnam, and its partners from Japan and Kuwait will start construction of Vietnam's second oil refinery in September or October this year.
The $9 billion Nghi Son complex, to be located 180 kilometers south of Hanoi, will have a refining capacity of 200,000 bpd. It will process Kuwaiti crude oil supplied exclusively by Kuwait Petroleum International.
Vietnam imported 3.85 million tons of oil products in the first half of this year, down 22% from a year earlier, according to government data. Imports fell because the Dung Quat refinery was shut for two months in the middle of last year.
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