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INVESTMENT

France’s Air Liquide interested in upgrade of Vietnam’s first oil refinery

Updated at Thursday, 04 Oct 2018, 23:52
The Hanoitimes - French Ambassador to Vietnam Bertrand Lortholary affirmed that many French businesses are looking to cooperate and invest in Vietnam.
France-headquartered Air Liquide Group has advanced interest in participating in the project to scale up and upgrade the Dung Quat oil refinery, the first of its kind in Vietnam, as well as other energy projects in the Southeast Asian country, a senior executive has said.

Philippe Christodoulou, vice president of Large Industries Business Development at Air Liquide Group, unveiled the information at meeting with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung in Hanoi on October 4, the government portal reported.
 
DPM encourages Vietnamese-French businesses to promote cooperation. Photo: Nhat Bac
DPM Trinh Dinh Dung host a reception for Air Liquide Group's Philippe Christodoulou. Photo: Nhat Bac
Air Liquide Group has continuously expanded its investment scale in Vietnam since 1996 with over ten plants across the country, providing auxiliary gas to a wide range of industries such as automobile, glass, metal, electronics, food, petrochemicals and healthcare, the French executive said.

Philippe Christodoulou added that with superior experience and technology, Air Liquide Group will successfully cooperate with Vietnamese enterprises in the fields of energy and petrochemicals.

Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung instructed Air Liquide Group to work closely with Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical JS Company (BSR) – the operator of the refinery, state-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) – the parent firm of BSR, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to discuss potential cooperation.

Dung emphasized that the utmost goal is to ensure the efficiency and quality of Dung Quat refinery after the upgrade to meet safety standards and protect the environment.

The Deputy PM noted that the Vietnamese government always encourages and creates favorable conditions for Vietnamese and French businesses to cooperate, expand their investment and business activities in each of the two countries.

PetroVietnam has been seeking for years partners to upgrade the refinery, which has an capacity to process 140,000 barrels of oil per day and was built at a cost of some US$3 billion in the central province of Quang Ngai. A number of foreign energy giants, including Royal Dutch Shell, Essar Group and SK Energy, were reportedly in talks to upgrade the plan.

Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft in January 2016 dropped a plan to acquire a 49% stake in BSR.
Also at the meeting on October 4, French Ambassador to Vietnam Bertrand Lortholary affirmed that many French businesses are looking to cooperate and invest in Vietnam, especially in the fields that France has advantages and Vietnam needs to develop, such as infrastructure, energy, hi-tech industry, etc.

Ambassador Bertrand Lortholary believes that the upcoming visit of the French prime minister to Vietnam will further promote multifaceted cooperation between the two countries, especially linkages between French and Vietnamese businesses.
Anh Kiet
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