Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical Complex (NSRP) has completed one year of commercial operations, meeting around 33 per cent of Vietnam’s domestic fuel demand and providing a secure supply of energy for the country’s economy. To mark this anniversary, Atsushi Yamamoto, general director of NSRP, talked with VIR’s Kim Oanh about the company’s journey so far and about its role as a vital pillar of the Vietnamese petrochemical industry.
NSRP has been operating for one year. What has been achieved in this short time?
This first anniversary is a major milestone for the refining and petrochemical complex and represents a significant achievement for Vietnam, the people of Thanh Hoa province, and for all of those involved in the financing, development, construction, commissioning, and commercial operation of the facility.
In November, we completed our first major maintenance check since the start of commercial operation, during which we invested more than $50 million to improve efficiency and performance. The refinery is now operating at 100 per cent capacity.
During our first year we processed more than 7.1 million tonnes of crude oil from Kuwait to produce around 4.6 million tonnes of high-quality petroleum fuel products. We estimate that NSRP meets around 33 per cent of Vietnam’s growing domestic fuel demand, significantly reducing its reliance on foreign petroleum imports and providing a secure supply of energy for the Vietnamese economy.
What impact has NSRP had in Thanh Hoa and on local communities?
We are immensely grateful to the warm and talented people of Tinh Gia district in Thanh Hoa who handed over their land for the construction of the plant and for their continuing support so that we can operate commercially.
We show our gratitude by ensuring that NSRP behaves as a responsible and ethical corporate citizen. We aim to deliver a positive social and economic impact to local communities by creating jobs and transferring skills through Strategic Social Investments in areas including health, education and small business incubation.
NSRP created jobs for around 20,000 people during the construction phase, and more than 3,000 people continue to work at the refinery today, the majority from Thanh Hoa. By providing jobs for local people, we are helping to create a professional engineering group in Tinh Gia district and serve as a hub for the development of human resources throughout the region.
What role has overseas investment played in the success of the complex?
NSRP would not exist without such investment. In fact, NSRP is the largest foreign direct investment and infrastructure construction project in Vietnam and the largest project financing in Southeast Asia since the Asian currency crisis, with total investment capital of over $9 billion.
NSRP is a joint venture between PetroVietnam, Kuwait Petroleum Europe, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd., and Mitsui Chemicals Inc. It is an example of successful international co-operation between these three countries – Vietnam, Kuwait, and Japan – and shows the benefits that responsible, ethical, and long-term foreign investment can bring to Vietnam. All of the international investors in NSRP have proven track records of responsible and long-term international investment.
Through them, NSRP has gained access to technologies and expertise which is invaluable to the success of the facility and to driving improvements in performance.
We hope that NSRP can act as a beacon to attract more high-quality foreign investment into Vietnam for the benefit of the Vietnamese people.
Can you explain the operational structure of the refinery and how you ensure strong corporate governance?
NSRP’s day-to-day operations are managed by the senior management team with oversight and support from our investors through a members’ council. NSRP’s management and investors are committed to good corporate governance, to ethical business practices, and to implementing international best-practice standards and methodology in the management and operations of the facility. To help ensure this, we have put in place strong internal governance and management procedures that help to ensure professional, responsible, and effective management of the refinery.
NSRP is performing as a world-class refinery and petrochemical complex that Vietnam can be proud of, and I am confident that it will continue to make a meaningful contribution to the country’s social and economic development for many years to come.