Mekong Delta city pulls plug on long-delayed oil refinery project

By VnExpress   November 25, 2016 | 05:00 pm PT
Various investors have failed to make any progress on the project since 2008.

Can Tho City in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, has finally decided to put an end to an oil refinery project following years of delays.

Can Tho's Planning and Investment Department said it had made the decision to revoke the license because the investors had failed to move the project forward and fufill their commitments to the municipal government, the Dau tu online news site reported on Friday.

On October 28, Mayor Vo Thanh Thong agreed in principle to pull the plug on the delayed project.

The joint venture between privately owned Vien Dong Investment and Trade Corporation and U.S.-based Semtech was awarded the investment license in May 2008 to build the refinery in the southern city.

The $538- million facility was initially expected to produce 2 million tons of oil products per year. But after Semtech, which contributed 70 percent of the capital, withdrew from the project in 2009, the Vietnamese investor decided to scale down the investment capital to $350 million and the capacity of the refinery to just 1 million tons of oil products per year.

In June 2010, Vien Dong announced that it had selected Taiwan's Crystal Future Incorporation as a new partner to put the project back on track. But Crystal Future, later that year, said it would not participate in the project as Can Tho's authorities had failed to clear land for the project.

In June 2015, the local government allowed RazeedLand Plaza Sdn Bhd from Brunei to establish a new joint venture with Vien Dong, but they yet again failed to make any progress on the delayed refinery.

Vietnam currently has only one refinery, located in the central province of Quang Ngai.

A second refinery in the central province of Thanh Hoa is under construction. State-owned PetroVietnam and its foreign partners in May this year reaffirmed their commitment to complete the $9 billion Nghi Son oil refinery complex in the fourth quarter of this year and begin commercial operations in the third quarter of 2017.

Related news:

Vietnam’s second $9 billion refinery on track to open in Q3 2017

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