Vietnam decides to cancel Binh Dinh oil refinery project

The government announced that it has decided to cancel plans for an oil refinery to be built in Binh Dinh Province in central Vietnam. The announcement came after Saudi Aramco, one of the project proponents, decided to pull out of the project and PTT’s decision to then further delay the project. The Binh Dinh oil refinery would have been PTT’s first oil refinery to be built outside of Thailand.

In 2014, PTT and Saudi Aramco jointly submitted the Project Detailed Feasibility Study to the government of Vietnam. The plan was for PTT and Saudi Aramco to each own a 40% stake in the project, while the Vietnamese government would take a minority stake of 20%.

The project included a 400,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery and an olefins and aromatic petrochemical plant with an annual output of five million tonnes and would have cost upwards of USD 20 billion.

The authorities said they are cancelling the project due to environmental concerns, particularly its impact on the provincial capital of Quy Nhon. The project, which was supposed to have been located on a 1,400-hectare site at the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone, was approved by the government in early 2015.

The Saigon Times reported that the authorities believed the project did not have much of a future after the decision by PTT to delay the project and that the area could be earmarked for a more feasible project.

At the time that the delay was announced, PTT said it still viewed Vietnam as a strategic location for investment and it will continue to develop the project by transferring it to IRPC Public Company Limited (IRPC) for further study and implementation. As a shareholder, PTT said it will support IRPC’s decisions on the project, such as project size, scope of investment and potential partner.