Vietnam has lined up nine potential investment projects through to 2025, while six proposed plants are seeking foreign investments, according to Phan Minh Quoc Binh, a director at the PetroVietnam Research and Development Centre for Petroleum Processing. The center is a part of the Vietnam Petroleum Institute.
But even if the projects all move forward, the IndoChinese country, though endowed with significant hydrocarbon resources, will face supply shortages. The country's petrochemical demand is expected to reach 12 billion pounds per year by 2020, based on 8.6 percent annual projected growth. If all planned and proposed projects are completed by 2020, the domestic supply would only cover 60 percent of the demand, he said.
Binh said Vietnam plans to set up the second petrochemical complex, producing 2.2 billion pounds per year of polyethylene capacity, 1.1 billion pounds of polypropylene and 882 million pounds of PVC, to meet the domestic demand until 2025.
Other likely projects would produce 220 million pounds of linear alkyl benzene, 331 million pounds of ethyl tert-butyl ether, 507 million pounds of styrene monomer, 243 million pounds of polystyrene, 331 million pounds of ethylene vinyl acetate, 441 million pounds of monoethylene glycol, 882 million pounds of purified terephthalic acid and 397 million pounds of synthetic fiber.
Binh said six PetroVietnam projects are currently seeking foreign investment. These include the US$8 billion Long Son refinery in Vung Tau, with completion set for 2020, and a Dung Quat refinery expansion by 2015.
Other, smaller projects include a 375 million-pound-per-year polyester plant in the Dinh Vu Industrial Zone in Hai Phong. The plant will be operational by 2011.
Speaking at the ProcessCEM Asia 2010 confernce in Singapore, Binh said the Vietnamese petrochemical sector was busy with several projects that are set to be completed between 2010 and 2014.
Taiwanese-funded Hung Nghiep Formosa Ltd. was to complete its 86 million-pound-per-year PET capacity plant at the end of 2010, followed by the completion of a 375 million-pound-per-year PET plant in the Dinh Vu Industrial Zone this year.
In 2012, Vietnam Polystyrene Co. Ltd. is to complete a plant to produce 243 million pounds of PS per year. In 2013, TPC Vina Plastic & Chemical Corp. Ltd. will complete a 220 million-pound-per-year PVC plant.
In 2014, the Nghi Son Refinery & Petrochemical Complex is scheduled to add 827 million pounds per year of PP, while Long Son Petrochemical Complex will add 1.8 billion pounds per year of PE and 992 million pounds of PP.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Singapore conference, Binh said the Vung Ro Refinery has recently received a license to produce 112 million pounds per year of PP and 64 million pounds of benzene capacity. That project is now expected to be completed after 2013, the original schedule.
Nevertheless, Vietnam will still continue to import most petrochemical products during the next 10 years.
We will have a near 1.8 billion pounds per year of BTX surplus in 2020 while other products PP, PE, PS, PET, PVC and DOP will have to be imported, he said.
Current domestic supply from seven plants is about 1.8 billion pounds per year of urea, 650,000 pounds of PET, 705 million pounds of PVC, 331 million pounds of PP, 66 million pounds of DOP and 40 million pounds of PS.
Most of the demand, which averaged growth of 9.5 percent a year between 2001 and 2009, was met through imports, especially imports of PP, PE, PS, PET and BTX.