State-owned oil and gas company Saudi Aramco has backed off from a joint venture refinery and petrochemical complex in central Vietnam with Thailand’s PTT, petrochemical market information provider ICIS quoted a source from the Thai energy firm as saying.
Saudi Aramco has decided to withdraw from further development of the Nhon Hoi refinery and petrochemical complex project, called Victory project, with effective date of July 1, 2016, the PTT source said.
PTT will transfer the project to its 38.5%-owned affiliate IRPC, the source added.
In 2014, PTT and Saudi Aramco jointly submitted a detailed feasibility study for the $22-billion project in Binh Dinh
province to the Vietnamese government.
According to their initial plan, the two companies would hold an equal stake of 40% each in the Vietnam project and a Vietnamese firm would take the remaining 20%.
The complex was designed to process 400,000 barrels per day of crude oil and produce 260,000 barrels per day of refined products and around five million tons per year of petrochemical products, including olefins and aromatics.
“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, explaining the withdrawal of its partner.
PTT still views Vietnam as a strategic location for investment and will continue to develop the project by transferring it to IRPC, the source noted.
Vietnamese media earlier reported that PTT was considering downsizing the project.
The Thai company no longer mentioned the search for a Vietnamese partner during the meeting earlier this week with Binh Dinh officials, according to Platts.