PTT Public Company Limited (PTT), Thailand’s biggest oil and gas producer, has plans to build a giant petrochemical complex worth an astronomical $28.7 billion in central Vietnam.
The company, formerly known as the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, said it wanted to build a refinery with a capacity of 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) in Nhon Hoi Industrial Zone in the central coastal province of Binh Dinh.
PTT said in its statement that with the expected 660,000 bpd output, the facility will be one of the world's largest oil refineries, according to Dow Jones Newswire.
The e-portal, the official website of the People's Committee of Binh Dinh Province, said the provincial leaders have joined in a working session with Mr. Sukrit Surabotsopon, PTT deputy general director, on the pre-feasibility study of the project.
Le Huu Loc, Chairman of People's Committee of Binh Dinh Province, said the plant is expected to be started in 2016 and the first barrel of oil will be churned out three years later.
PTT has already met with a number of companies in Vietnam to discuss the possibility of cooperation in this project, including the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) and the Vietnam Military Petroleum Corp, Loc added.
PTT's CEO, Nattachat Charuchinda, has confirmed Loc’s information, according to Bangkok Post. But he declined to confirm the estimated cost.
The crude oil resource to serve for the plant will be imported from the Middle East. The project will include an aromatic plant for export to China, he added.
Vietnam is now home to the only refinery, Dung Quat, in the central coastal province of Quang Nam with daily output of 130,000 barrels per day. It met about a third of the domestic demand after being put into operation in 2009.
PTT's moves take place in a time when many other foreign investors are pouring money to build new refineries in Vietnam.
PetroVietnam General Director Do Van Hau told Vnexpress that the contracts for the construction of Nghi Son oil refinery in northern central province of Thanh Hoa will be signed by the year-end.
The 200,000 bpd plant is a joint venture between Japan’s third-largest oil refining company Idemitsu Kosan and Kuwait Petroleum International (each owns 35.1 percent stake), PetroVietnam and another company from Japan - Mitsui Chemicals, (25.1 percent and the remaining 4.7 percent).
However, Idemitsu Kosan recently revealed that the disbursement may slow down due to financial difficulties.
Another Thai company, Siam Cement PCL and its partners, have announced plans to build an oil refinery worth $4.5 billion in southern coastal province of Ba Ria - Vung Tau.
Siam Cement and its subsidiaries will hold 48 percent stake in the project, while the remaining shares may belong to Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Company, Tasweeq, Petrolimex or PetroVietnam.
However, this project is having difficulty in finding capital, so has been delayed since 2009.