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Thai investors propose further delay to giant petrochemical project in Vietnam

Russia & China to build world’s largest petrochemical plant © Reuters / Maxim Shemetov. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

Pan Pacific Agency | COMMUICATION AGENCY FOR PACIFICA REGIONS

HANOI, Dec 6, 2019, VN Express. Two Thai investors have requested a 3-year extension for launching a petrochemical complex in southern Vietnam owing to land acquisition delays. They have proposed that commercial operations of the Long Son Petrochemical Complex in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province be deferred to December 2022, VN Express reported.

The investors have also proposed that investment capital for the project be increased by 27 percent to $5.15 billion, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

The investors, Vina SCG Chemicals Company Limited (VSCG) and Thai Plastic & Chemicals Public Company Limited (TPC), have said challenges in land acquisition and compensation have delayed implementation, the ministry said in a report to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The report also said the change in investment capital is to increase the competitiveness and economic efficiency of the project with new technologies.

The two investors are expected to contribute $2.1 billion, or 40 percent of the project, and borrow the rest from six banks in Thailand, Japan and Singapore. However, as of June, they had only released $800 million, or 38 percent of their commitment.

Long Son Petrochemical (LSP) was conceived as a joint venture between VSCG (a unit of Thai conglomerate SCG), the state-run PetroVietnam and Qatar Petroleum in 2008.

After the 2008 global financial crisis, the project stalled, and the Qatari partner withdrew in 2015, and SCG bought its stake in 2017. Last year SCG also bought PetroVietnam’s stake in the project.

The complex covers 464 hectares and will create over 1,000 jobs when operational. It is set to contribute $115 million annually for 30 years to state coffers.

Petrochemicals are used to manufacture a variety of products including plastics, medicines, cosmetics and electronics.

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