Kuwait’s Overseas Downstream Expansion Stutters On Vietnam Refinery Delays

Kuwait plans to nearly triple its overseas refining capacity. Its delayed 200,000 b/d Vietnam refinery, slated for May start-up, is the first step.

Vietnam’s 200,000 b/d Nghi Son refinery (KPI 35.1%, PetroVietnam 25.1%, Japan’s Idemitsu 35.1% and Mitsui Chemicals 4.7%) has only just announced readiness for start-up operations, seven months after Kuwait despatched a 2mn-barrel crude cargo for the plant’s commissioning ( MEES, 4 August 2017 ). No reason has been given for the further schedule slippage.

Refinery manager Junzo Yamamoto announced on 28 February that “the project is now ready for performance tests and then the operational phases… The first commercial product is expected to be in May 2018.” This is a further slip from January, when KPC planning and finance director Wafaa al-Zaabi said “we have started pre-commissioning… this will be commercial in the coming month.”


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