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Exxon Mobil investing in central provinces

Released at: 09:08, 29/08/2016

Exxon Mobil investing in central provinces

Photo: Courtesy

Power center project by Exxon and PetroVietnam to benefit both Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces.

by Hong Nhung

The government has approved planning for the Central Gas and Power Center in Vietnam’s central region, which will receive investment from the US's Exxon Mobil and PetroVietnam.

The government also agreed to the construction plan for four gas-fired power generators at the Center, with a total capacity of 3,000 MW using gas from the Blue Whale Oil Field, in which each generator has a capacity of 750 MW.

The Center has four plants, with two to be built at the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Nui Thanh district, Quang Nam province, and two at the Dung Quat Economic Zone in Binh Son district, Quang Ngai province.

According to Mr. Tran Dinh Quang, Deputy Manager of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, Quang Nam is ready to welcome the investment. “We have conducted site clearance on nearly 400 ha, as required for the project,” he told VET. “Site clearance and compensation and the building of resettlement apartments for local residents took around two years to complete,” he added.

The Center is a joint venture between the 1870-founded Exxon Mobil and PetroVietnam. Two hundred hectares is needed for the first phase, with a 1,500 MW electricity plant. Once in operation the plant will consume 6 to 8 trillion cu m of natural gas from the Blue Whale field.

“The total investment is yet to be finalized,” Mr. Quang said. The initial scale of the project could reach $22 billion but the number mentioned by PVN was $10 billion and, according to the latest news, has been reduced to $4.6 billion.

Exxon Mobil will invest a well-head shelf for dehydration processing offshore and two underground mining clusters, each with four exploitation wells and a pipeline of about 88 km connecting to the coastline near Chu Lai. It is expected that of the 8 to 9 billion cu m of gas exploited each year, 1 to 3 billion cu m will go to the Dung Quat Oil Refinery for processing.

Due to the large scale and significance of the project, Exxon Mobil has visited the central provinces many times recently to survey construction sites, which triggered competition between Quang Ngai and Quang Nam. A working group on investment promotion for the gas and power plant at the Chu Lai Economic Zone was established three years ago, while Quang Ngai province has also proposed favorable locations on a number of occasions.

Nearly two months ago Quang Ngai sent a document to central authorities introducing three locations for the Center, in which the favored location was 385 ha in Binh Son district.

This land is adjacent to the Dung Quat Oil Refinery and on the coastline, making it suitable for the laying of an oil pipeline from Dung Quat to supply diesel for the Center.

Both Quang Nam and Quang Ngai will benefit from the project, especially the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone and the Dung Quat Economic Zone, which have received development incentives from the government.

ExxonMobil was also part of a business delegation of the US-ASEAN Business Council to seek investment opportunities in Vietnam at the end of August.

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