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Vietnam's sole oil refinery, plus future plants, not meant to lower fuel prices - Xinhua

HO CHI MINH CITY, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The operations of Vietnam' s only refinery Dung Quat, and other facilities to be built in the future, will not help reduce the retail prices of petroleum products domestically, local online newspaper Tuoi Tre (Youth) News reported Sunday.

"We have never said domestic gasoline prices will go down thanks to Dung Quat Oil Refinery. All oil refineries in the world are not built to reduce fuel prices," said Nguyen Hoai Giang, chairman of the board of directors of state-owned Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Joint stock Company, which runs the refinery.

He further explained that Dung Quat was constructed so that Vietnam can make petroleum products by refining crude oil domestically, just in case any economic, political and social turmoil happens in the world that may cut the supply of fuel to Vietnam.

Vietnam has planned to spend 1.8 million U.S. dollars expanding Dung Quat, which will help raise the annual capacity of the plant to 8.5 million cubic tons from 6.5 million cubic tons and thus make it more efficient, Giang said.

Last month, Binh Son reached a deal with a British firm for the expansion of Dung Quat from next year until 2021. The upgrade of Dung Quat will enable the plant to process crude oil commonly used in the world, instead of the 100 percent crude oil taken from the Bach Ho field off Vietnam's southern coast.

Sweet crude oil exploited from Bach Ho is among the most expensive in the world, as it is light with almost no sulfur, and just needs to be processed a little for immediate use.