Fanfare as Vietnam opens first oil refinery

Vietnam opened its first oil refinery on Sunday after more than a decade of delays, with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung declaring the complex was vital for "national energy security."

Dung inaugurated the more than 2.5-billion-dollar Dung Quat refinery live on evening prime-time television, an indication of its importance to the country's communist leaders, AFP reported.

"It's a key project of national importance," Dung told more than 1,000 guests at the facility in central Quang Ngai province amid much fanfare and tight security.

He added the refinery was essential "in many ways -- politically, economically, for national defence and security."

"This is an important beginning for the Vietnam oil refinery industry," he said.

Although Vietnam has considerable offshore oil reserves, it currently imports all its petroleum products, costing the Southeast Asian nation hundreds of millions of dollars as energy consumption soars.

It spent 10.88 billion dollars importing refined products in 2008, according to official figures, while exporting 10.45 billion dollars of crude oil.

State-owned PetroVietnam Group financed and will run the new facility, which is expected to churn out 6.5 million tonnes a year or 148,000 barrels per day -- about 30 percent of the country's needs.

PetroVietnam, which expects the refinery in the centre of the country to be at full capacity from August, is designing another refinery, in the north, and has tentative plans for a third as Vietnam strives for energy autonomy.

"Dung Quat refinery is one of the most modern in the world," said Dinh Van Ngoc, senior vice-president and chief executive of the arm of PetroVietnam that will run and manage the facility.

"It's very meaningful for Vietnam, both practically and also spiritually -- it can prove to the whole nation and Vietnamese people that Vietnam can build a refinery."

Ngoc told AFP the final cost of the refinery would be higher than 2.5 billion dollars, but declined to be more specific.

The complex, built by an international consortium led by French oil services group Technip, has a long and chequered history.

When plans were first drawn up in the 1990s, the estimated cost was 1.5 billion dollars.

But several foreign backers pulled out, among them French giant Total, which baulked at the authorities' insistence that the refinery be built in a mainly agricultural area with no tradition of heavy industry.

Critics and foreign investors argued that central Quang Ngai province was too far from the offshore oil reserves in the south and from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial capital.

Experts say the government refused to have the first refinery anywhere else because it wanted to develop one of the poorest regions in the country.

The communist leaders also want to forge a new industrial area as a counterbalance to the capital Hanoi, in the north, and Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, in the south.

Authorities hope the refinery and the industrial zone being built around it will create jobs for more than 20,000 people in the area, spurring the local economy.

New roads have been built in the zone and around the refinery, with a handful of new factories springing up, including at least one from South Korea.

Bruno Le Roy, the engineer managing the site for Technip, acknowledged it was "a political decision" to build the refinery in Quang Ngai province, referring to the authorities' determination to bring money to central Vietnam.

"I've seen in the last two years a big change in this area," he told AFP at the refinery, which covers 338 hectares (834 acres) of what was once farmland.

But local labourer Nguyen Van Ha, 28, said the refinery offered nothing for the millions of unskilled workers in the region.

"I wish I had some skills to find a stable job there but I know nothing about it so I don't see it meaning much to me," he said.

Vietnam's economy grew 8.5 percent in 2007, and its energy needs for industry, households and transport are estimated to be rising at twice that rate.

Economic growth was however down to 6.2 percent in 2008, the lowest level in almost a decade, although premier Dung earlier this month said he expected the slowdown to end by May.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Azerbaijani FM, US Assistant Secretary of State discuss latest situation in region
Azerbaijani FM, US Assistant Secretary of State discuss latest situation in region
Young grew up who did not see Karabakh, they liberated Karabakh at cost of their lives – President Ilham Aliyev (UPDATE)
Young grew up who did not see Karabakh, they liberated Karabakh at cost of their lives – President Ilham Aliyev (UPDATE)
Armenia seen that, whole world seen that, no-one has been able to stop us - President Ilham Aliyev
Armenia seen that, whole world seen that, no-one has been able to stop us - President Ilham Aliyev
Loading Bars
UN chief names US diplomat Stephanie Williams to run Libya mediation
Iran ready for resultative talks on nuclear deal - top diplomat
Israel reports 10 new cases of Omicron variant
New York mayor plans vaccination mandate for private-sector employers
Russia, India to expand energy cooperation, says statement
IRICA reveals data on Iran’s trade turnover with ECO member states
Raisi: Iran welcomes development of ties with UAE
Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan identify priority issues for cooperation
Saakashvili: reconciliation is the best option for everyone
Azerbaijan sends 100,000 vaccines to Burkina Faso
US announces diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics
Azerbaijani FM, US Assistant Secretary of State discuss latest situation in region
Armenia seen that, whole world seen that, no-one has been able to stop us - President Ilham Aliyev
Israel lifts tariffs on dairy imports to cut prices
Young grew up who did not see Karabakh, they liberated Karabakh at cost of their lives – President Ilham Aliyev (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sports talks about appointment of new deputy minister
I tell them to give us date of when Zangazur corridor will be opened - President Ilham Aliyev to Armenia (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan discloses volume of oil exported to Turkey in 10M2021
Azerbaijani deputy defense minister leaves for Moscow
Forecast of Azerbaijani State Oil Fund’s total management costs for 2022 revealed
Turkmenistan approves anti-crisis program for 2022
Volume of cargo shipment via Turkish ports from Morocco for 10M2021 revealed
Ministry shares data on volume of cargo shipment via Turkish ports from Belgium for 10M2021
Volume of cargo shipment via Turkish ports from China for 10M2021 unveiled
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Germany for 10M2021
Cost of goods transported via sea up in Azerbaijan
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit monument to national leader Heydar Aliyev in Guba (PHOTO/VIDEO)
SOFAZ asset management revenue forecast for 2022 unveiled
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on December 7
Azerbaijan is creating social zone in industrial park of liberated Jabrayil district- ministry
Turkmenistan continues oil prospecting work on Cheleken peninsula
Uzbekistan shares data on import of potatoes in 10M2021
Price indexes of construction, trade sectors at Uzbek stock exchange fall
Galt & Taggart shares data on Georgia’s bonds on London Stock Exchange
Uzbekistan unveils volume of exports and imports
Georgia’s persimmon exports continue to increase
Russia remains main importer of Georgia’s tangerines
Uzbekistan reveals volume of tomato exports for 10M2021
Uzbek Statistics Committee shares data on foreign trade turnover
Kazakhstan’s oil and gas company opens tender to supply electric pump
Turkey discloses volume of cargo shipment via its ports from Albania for 10M2021
Eurostat reveals data on Czechia's import of petroleum oils from Azerbaijan
Vegetable pathogen detected in batch of pepper imported to Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan’s National Bank discloses inflation expectations
Turkmenistan talks demand on local aviation, lighting kerosene among foreign clients
Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences talks demographic indicators of Karabakh, East Zangazur
Kazakhstan talks forecasted growth level of GDP for late 2021
All 6 Israel policymakers voted to keep key rate at 0.1%
Iran reaches increase in load/unloaded operations at Amirabad port
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 585 more COVID-19 cases, 944 recoveries
Iran's Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise full speed
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd to purchase spare parts for pumps via tender
Azerbaijan talks 4G network coverage in liberated territories
Iran’s Nakhlak Lead Mining Complex boosts production
Kazakh-Chinese bitumen plant opens tender for vehicles rent
Act of amnesty covers 16 foreign citizens in Azerbaijan
Tesla did not want to wait on EU aid - German economy minister
Austrian President swears in Karl Nehammer as new Chancellor
Iran’s CBI general director talks foreign currency exchange activity data
Unemployment in Israel fell sharply in November
Oil and gas production dep’t of Turkmenistan’s Turkmennebit SC exceeds production plan
Volume of natural gas transportation via Serbian-Hungarian interconnector revealed
Field rearranging underway on Serbian-Hungarian gas interconnector route
Iran not to follow 'plan B' while in Vienna nuclear talks - FM
Georgian business sector sees increase in turnover
Kazakh National Bank announces its decision for base rate
Kazakhstan reveals GDP growth in 10M2021
Azerbaijan working on flight recorder of crashed helicopter - Prosecutor General's Office
UK to block poor-performing companies from winning public work
Croatia confirms its first two cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant
Balacans Agro Food LLC, Azerbaijan Investment Company sign agreement (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan to consider joining int'l documents on intellectual property protection
Oil majors to mitigate demand fluctuation with digital twins
SOFAZ sees significant increase in Shah Deniz revenues
Azerbaijan shares data on number of freed convicts as part of act of amnesty
Annual inflation rate slightly slows down in Kazakhstan
SOFAZ discloses revenues from Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli
Azerbaijan shares data on number of people covered by Act of Amnesty so far
TBC Capital publishes Georgia’s weekly economic review
Oil rebounds above $71 on Omicron hopes, Iran talks
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva meet with residents of Gonagkand settlement (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Israeli firm to sell HSBC Tower in New York for $855 million
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for December 6
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva view conditions created at secondary school № 1 in Guba (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend opening of Guba Abad Factory enterprise (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev inaugurates Guba-Gonagkand highway (PHOTO/VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva view conditions created at Guba Olympic Sports Complex (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Crisis center discloses 32,136 new coronavirus cases in Russia over past 24 hours
Chevron to expand investments in Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field dev't
Famous scientist talks about significance of victory in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh (PHOTO)
Iran shares data on cargo transportation
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva arrive in Guba district for visit (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan prepares bill on repatriation of people to Karabakh – state committee
Azerbaijani State Oil Fund’s estimates on oil, gas transportation revenues for 2022 unveiled
Azerbaijan gives update on mine clearance work in liberated lands
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 volume of goods exports via stationary vehicles increases
State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan forecasts revenues and expenditures for 2022
Azerbaijan’s forecast for oil production from Bahar field in 2022 revealed
Cargo movements in Iran’s Noshahr Port down
All news