Kuwait Petroleum International (Q8) refinery in Vietnam achieves another successful milestone
On the 1st September, the International Finance Corporation, the largest global development institution and part of the World Bank, got their full board approval to start the development of the project finance activities for constructing a refinery and petrochemical complex in North Vietnam.
This is a significant step for the Nghi Son Refinery & Petrochemical project (NSRP); a joint venture between Q8, PetroVietnam and Japanese companies Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui Chemicals. Together they will create Vietnam’s largest refinery, with Q8 as one of the major shareholders (35.1% holding).
This highly important project is in line with Q8’s 2030 Strategic Directives to invest in large-scale refining and petrochemical projects in Pacific Asia in order to gain a strong foothold in the region’s fast growing markets. Although Vietnam is Southeast Asia's third largest producer of crude oil, its limited refining capacity means that it still relies on imported oil products.
Hussain E Esmaiel, President of Kuwait Petroleum International, comments: “This project is of great importance to Q8 and is an excellent opportunity to strengthen our business in this fast developing region. As one of the first Middle East countries to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam, Kuwait has very strong ties with the country. We look forward to continue working in close co-operation with the Vietnamese authorities and our joint venture partners to ensure the success of this project.”
The new refinery will include a petrochemical complex, energy facilities, pipeline and storage facilities. It will primarily produce products such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel for the local Vietnamese market, together with paraxylene, benzene and polypropylene for neighbouring countries.
Q8 has committed to provide 100 per cent Kuwaiti crude oil for the refinery which will have a daily refining capacity of 200,000 barrels per day (bpd), equivalent to 10 million tons of crude oil. There are plans for the refinery to double the capacity to 400,000 bpd in future, if justified by strong demand.
The Environmental and Social Review, conducted by the International Finance Corporation as a pre-requisite for funding approval, details the extensive action being taken to achieve the highest standards of safety, health and environmental protection, as well as substantial support of the local community, at every stage of this highly complex project.
Detailed studies were conducted before settling on the final location of the refinery, in Thanh Hoa Province, 200 kilometres south of Hanoi, in order to minimise the social and environmental impact.
An independent Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, completed by NSRP early in 2011, has established the potential impacts and risks for the entire project life-cycle from site preparation, through to construction and operation of the refinery. Design and construction of the refinery will be carried out in accordance with the international ISO 14001 standard requirements and a detailed HSE Management Plan is being developed.
In order to protect environmentally sensitive areas around the refinery, such as the coral reef, a single point mooring will be located 35 kilometres from the shoreline and crude oil will be transported to the refinery by under-sea pipeline.
Hussain E Esmaiel, President of Kuwait Petroleum International, comments: “Q8 aspires to world class standards in safety, health and environmental protection and the extensive measures are being taken demonstrate our commitment to maintaining an unwavering focus on these issues at every turn.”
A series of significant stages in the project have already been successfully achieved. In Phase 1, the Front End Engineering Design by contractor Foster Wheeler was completed in November 2009, on time and on budget. Q8 has established a marketing office in Hanoi and is actively undertaking a marketing feasibility study. The evaluation of Engineering, Procurement and Construction bids is completed and contracts are expected to be awarded by the end of the year.
Work to prepare the 3,280,000 m2 site for the refinery is almost complete. It is anticipated that engineering and construction work on the refinery will start early in 2012, with a view to the refinery becoming operational in 2015
For more information, go to the IFC website and search for ‘Nghi Son Refinery’.