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Unprofitable ethanol projects see light at end of tunnel

Last update: 16:00 | 13/09/2017

VietNamNet Bridge - With the state’s policy of using E5 biofuel throughout the country from early 2018, ethanol projects that have been unprofitable will resume their operations, according to PetroVietnam’s CEO Nguyen Vu Truong Son. 


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PetroVietnam on September 6 stated the national oil and gas group has completed the assessment of solutions to deal with unprofitable PetroVietnam-invested projects as per the government’s request. 

PetroVietnam on September 6 stated the national oil and gas group has completed the assessment of solutions to deal with unprofitable PetroVietnam-invested projects as per the government’s request. 

He said this was a difficult task because the projects were ‘stuck’ for a long time, while the fiber and biofuel markets were unattractive to investors.

However, the government’s decision on replacing RON 92 petrol with RON 95 and E5 will help ethanol plants revive. 

Son revealed that some PetroVietnam partners have committed to cooperate with PetroVietnam to run production and to buy a stake. It is expected that the projects will churn out products by January 1, 2018.

As for Dung Quat Biofuel (BSR-BF), the company and shareholders have issued invitation letters for cooperation partners to run the plant. Three investors have shown their interest in the cooperation, namely Tin Thanh Group, Tung Lam Company and Tocontap.

BSR-BF has chosen and signed a contract with a consultancy firm on the evaluation of enterprise and capital contribution, and on the building of a divestment plan. 

In the immediate time, the company will choose investors for business cooperation in September and come to an agreement on restarting the plant before the divestment.

Regarding Binh Phuoc Project (OBF), PetroVietnam’s taskforce and PVOil conducted a survey at the plant, and worked with OBF and its Thai shareholder Toyo and Licogi. The involved parties showed their willingness to continue operating the plant, affirming that it is now the time to restart the plant.

The taskforce pointed out solutions the investors can apply to reduce the production costs. PVOil, the biggest shareholder, asked for more time to calculate the plan to resume the operation, committing that products will be available in the market by January 2018.

Only two ethanol projects of Tung Lam Company in Dung Quat have been operating in a stable manner, while the other projects all have taken losses. Therefore, PetroVietnam decided to consult with Tung Lam on the restart plans.

At the meeting on August 24, 2017, shareholders confirmed that they will follow necessary procedures to continue contributing capital to OBF, so as to have money for repair and technical conversion to put the plant into operation.

In the case of Phu Tho Biofuel (PVB), two investors – Thai Son Investment JSC and Mepcom Offshore & Marine Pte, a subsidiary of Singaporean MEPCOM, have shown interest in the project.

Mepcom has suggested a cooperation plan under which Mepcom and strategic partners will buy a stake from existing shareholders at PVB to run under the BOO mode.


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Thanh Mai

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