Technip to hand Dung Quat refinery to PetroVietnam

France's oil services company Technip will hand over Vietnam's first ever oil refinery, Dung Quat in the central province of Quang Ngai, to the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) to operate on May 24, said the refinery's management board.

After the handover, contractor Technip will continue dealing with technical problems and take charge of guarantee and transferring technology to the Dung Quat Oil Refinery's engineers and workers for two years.

After over one year in operation, the refinery processed over 3.7 million tons of crude oil from Bah Ho oilfield in Vung Tau and produced around 3 million tons of petrol, of which 2.8 million tons were sold to the market.

The refinery is planned to process 5 million tons of crude oil to produce 4.75 million tons of petrol, and reach a turnover of VND63 trillion (US$3.3 billion) in 2010.

The 148,000 barrel-a-day refinery started test runs in February 2009 but being shut down with operating problems in August-September and December for checks and equipment replacement.

Once running at full capacity, the refinery is expected to meet a third of Vietnam's fuel demand. The nation currently imports almost all of its oil needs.

Petrovietnam, main investor in the refinery, has planned to increase the capacity of the plant from the current 6.5 million tons a year to 10 million tons.