PTT, Thailand’s publicly listed and state owned oil company has commenced a feasibility study on constructing a refinery in Vietnam.
The proposed refinery, when complete, will have the capacity to process 660,000 barrels of crude per day, making it the largest refinery in Southeast Asia. This would surpass the current largest refinery owned by ExxonMobil in Singapore, producing 605,000 barrels per day.
This move endangers the possibility of PTT’s interest in investing into a previously discussed refinery in Burma.
PTT had initially entered discussions with the Burmese Ministry of Energy, according to the Ministry, to build a 150,000-barrel facility near Rangoon.
Vietnam and Burma both suffer from inadequate supply of petroleum and diesel. Their current refineries are only able to satisfy one-third and half of their respective demands.
PTT’s plan for the Vietnam refinery however is more strategic. It is planning to create an export market by selling at least 50% of the refined products, regionally.
At present, according to PTT vice president, Sukrit Surabotsopon, PTT has engaged a team to complete a feasibility study which is due in May of 2014. If successful, construction will then take another five years.
According to Vietnam’s Thanh Nien newspaper, “Construction would take another five years and the plant would begin operating in 2020 with a capacity of 33 million tons, almost five times that of [Vietnam’s] sole existing refinery and one of the largest in the world.”