World’s largest energy firm exits $22-billion Vietnam refinery plan

By Toan Dao   July 2, 2016 | 07:36 pm GMT+7

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil and gas company, Saudi Aramco, has decided to withdraw from the development of a refinery and petrochemical complex in Vietnam with Thai PTT, global news provider ICIS quoted its source from the Thai energy firm as saying on July 1.

The two companies had jointly submitted a feasibility study for the $22 billion world-scale fully integrated refining and petrochemical complex, called Victory project, in Binh Dinh Province to the Vietnamese government in December 2014.

At the time, they were planning to have an equal stake of 40 percent each in the Vietnam project, which will be able to process 400,000 barrels/day of crude oil.

“Saudi Aramco has decided to withdraw from further development of Victory project with effective date of July 1, 2016,” the PTT source said.

Oil tanks seen at the Saudi Aramco headquarters during a media tour at Damam city in this file photo dated November 11, 2007. Photo by Reuters/Ali Jarekji

Oil tanks seen at the Saudi Aramco headquarters during a media tour at Damam City in this file photo dated November 11, 2007. Photo by Reuters/Ali Jarekji

The Saudi Arabian energy firm could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

PTT and Saudi Aramco have sought for a capable Vietnamese company to be a partner of the project but it has not been successful so far, the PTT source said.

However, PTT still views Vietnam as a strategic location for investment and will continue to develop the project by transferring it to its 38.5 percent-owned affiliate IRPC, the source said, adding that PTT will support IRPC’s decisions on this project such as project size, scope of investment and potential partner.

IRPC is the first fully integrated petrochemical complex in Southeast Asia. The Thailand-based company runs a 215,000 barrel/day refinery and a 350,000 tons/year naphtha cracker, and a host of downstream units in the kingdom, according to its website.

Chansin Treechuchagron, PTT's Senior Executive Vice President for petrochemicals and refining, said the company will delay the Victory project and review the investment at the end of the year, Reuters reported earlier this week.

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