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Getting ready for the first commercial products

According to the plan, in the fourth quarter of 2017, Nghi Son refinery and Petrochemical plant (NSRP in Thanh Hoa) will start commercial operation. Until now, all preparation works have been basically completed. Some of the remaining works are being urgently deployed in order to ensure smooth operation ...

The project "awakes" a region

NSRP project is located in Nghi Son Economic Zone, Thanh Hoa, invested by the investors: Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN); Kuwait Petroleum Europe B.V. (KPE); Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd (IKC) and Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (MCI).

The project has capacity of 10 million tons crude oil per year imported from Kuwait with the total investment of $ 9.2 billion, the final products include: LPG, gasoline, diesel, mazut, benzene, kerosene/jet fuel, para-xylene, polypropylene ...

The project started construction since July 2013. Up to now, most of the construction and installation items have been completed 100%. The plant has been handed over (from the Contractor) to NSRP to manage. At present, NSRP is implementing commissioning some items of utility units.

loc hoa dau nghi son ho nuoc

As scheduled, the plant will produce the first commercial products in in the fourth quarter of 2017. When the plant moving to commercial operation, NSRP will receive 3 crude oil vessels from KPC - Kuwait every month. With a processing capacity of 10 million tons of crude oil per year (200,000 barrels per day), NSRP will supply about 40% of domestic petroleum market demand, exporting millions of tons of petrochemical products as benzene, paraxylene and polypropylene... Contributing significantly to the state budget, strongly promoting the socio-economic development in Thanh Hoa and the (North Central) region, enhancing the self-control in producing refining & petrochemical products of Vietnam and strengthening national energy security, contributing to the national economy ... 

Security, safety are the fisrt priorities 

During preparation before starting operation, a reporter of Petrotimes spend a visit to the plant and witness hard working staffs of NSRP who are ready for producing first commercial products.

Deputy CEO of NSRP, Mr. Dinh Van Ngoc said: at 23:00 on 20th August, the Very Large Crude Carrier first time came to Vietnam named Millennium, it came to NSRP single point mooring (SPM) after 18 days journey at sea from Kuwait's Mina Al Ahmadi port, crossing the 8,300 km. The Millennium is 330 m in length, 58 m in width, 40 m in height from the water surface, capable of pumping crude oil 14,000 m3 per hour through 35 km of pipelines into the oil tanks at the plant, each tank has capacity 120,000 m.

In the morning of 22nd August 2017, under the direction and coordination of Thanh Hoa Port Authority, local authorities and experts of NSRP, tugboat of PTSC company with sailors of Millennium ship tugged and connected the pipeline for pumping crude oil from SPM to oil tanks in the plant, estimated it will take  3 days for completing the pumping . According to Mr. Ngoc, this event which marks an important step in commissioning of NSRP plant and is prepared for the production of petroleum refining and petrochemical products for domestic market and export. This event also mark a strong development of Vietnam's seaport service industry when it has the capability and conditions to receive very large crude oil tankers to our country. This event marks Nghi Son Port, Vietnam as one of destinations on the international maritime journey and route map of the world's Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) tankers.

Along with receiving the first vessel of crude oil, Mr. Ngoc said: other works are also being completed at last steps. Especially, security, safety and environment protection have been implemented very carefully. He also said: before receiving this first VLCC, NSRP already sent a report to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment about the partial commissioning plan.

On 26th July, Department of Science and Technology of Thanh Hoa province established inspection team, headed by Mr. Tran Van Thanh, Chief Inspector of the Department of Science and Technology. They came to have inspection on "Radiation Nuclear Safety". The two main contents are: "Inspecting the the law compliance on atomic energy preservation, use and transportation of radioactive sources and equipment" and “Inspecting the law compliance on measurement in the use of group-two measuring devices”.

The process of inspection and actual inspection in areas where radioactive sources, X-ray equipment are located; As well as inspecting the compliance with the regulations on measurement for group-two measuring devices. The inspection team commented and concluded, as quoted: “…NSRP plant is in the stage of preparing for commissioning. At the time of the inspection, NSRP is consulting with a Technical Assistant how to fulfill responsibilities in order to comply of the law on atomic energy in use of radioactive sources and X-ray equipment of the company ". This center supports NSRP to complete of legal procedures, conditions for compliance with the law ... ".

According to the result of inspection of the dossier, the inspection team commented as follows: "Basically, the company has well implemented the regulations on radiation safety, security of radioactive sources in the use of radioactive sources, Measurement rules for group-two measuring devices ... ".

However, the inspection team also noted some issues such as: Dossiers mainly in English language; At the entrance and exit area control the radiation sources X-ray devices do not have Safety Rules. Speaking about this problem with Mr. Dinh Van Ngoc, he said: NSRP has recognized and we are urgently deploying warning signs, as well as safety regulations will be fully installed before the plant goes into operation.

Most recently, on 8th August, Mr. Nguyen Duc Quyen, Member of the Standing Committee of the Provincial Party Committee, Standing Vice Chairman of Thanh Hoa People's Committee came to work with this company for cheking implementation of the provisions of the law about environmental protection, water resources, oil spill incident response, fire prevention and fighting, radiation and chemical safety at NSRP plant. 

After direct inspection, as well as listening to the report of NSRP management. Mr. Quyen concluded: "... During the implementation of the project, NNSRP strictly implemented the provisions of the Vietnam law on environmental protection (waste water, emissions, noise ...); water resources; oil spill incident response; fire prevention and fighting. NSRP implemented all the regulations on planning, establishment of forces and organization for practicing to performing firefighting and response to oil spills.... Especially NSRP already spent over $480 million USD   to build environmental protection works, fire prevention ...”

At this inspection, the Vice-Chairman also reminded and asked the Company to soon complete the boards, signs, and rules in dangerous places. As well as, NSRP have to build professional firefighting forces soon to actively respond when the situation occurs...

Regarding equalization lake has not been built, the Vice -Chairman asked and agreed with NSRP management that “In commissioning phase, if equalization lake, biological indication pond can’t be completed, waste water must be stored in waste water basin to make sure to meet the standard before being discharged into the environment; At the same time, NSRP must report to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for comments in accordance with the regulations”.

About this issue, Deputy CEO Dinh Van Ngoc said: building Equalization Lake is under preparation, because this is a big lake that will take a long construction time. In the past time, the Company focus on the construction of the main items. During this commissioning phase, the company is using the waste water basin to replace the equalization lake function.

We already checked the wastewater at the basin during the commissioning time and it shows that the waste water was well treated, the water was clear. Mr. Ngoc said: Upcoming, the company will drop fishes to test the quality of water by the senses. He also said that at present there are two basins in the plant, one for collecting surface water like rain water; another one is for responsible for wastewater collection. These basins have been fully equipped with online analytical system to analyze parameters such as flow rate; PH; COD content; Excess chlorine content...

The waste water samples are taken regular 3 times a day (with 3 shifts of 4 working crews), so every shift must to take samples of wastewater for analysis, in combination with online analysis in the DCS system in the central control room. All parameters through analysis are displayed on the screen. The analyses were compared in the laboratory, the wastewater is guaranteed to be treated in accordance with quality standards.

In addition to the above-mentioned documents, as well as being explained by a Deputy CEO, we also learn more about the "process" of environmental protection at this plant.

It is known that in order to build this plant, there are 38 international banks (lenders) in the world who loan this project with the amount of up to 5 billion USD. One of the mandatory requirements of these banks before drawdown loan is that they are fully provided with technical designs in which they pay high attention to environmental protection.

During the implementation of the project, every month, the investor has submit writing report to them about environmental protection. At the same time, the lenders also hire NEXANT Company monthly go to the site to check. The banks understand that if an environmental problem occurs, then the cash flow will be affected, it is the reason why they have strict environmental protection checks. As mentioned above.

Beside that, the joint venture partners including companies from Japan and Kuwait who have professional experience in environment protection and always consider environment protection as the first priority. Therefore, in the investment process, they highly agreed with Vietnam (PVN) about spending 10% of the value of EPC contract for environment protection items.

The management policy and implementation of the environment protection, security & safety of NSRP are very strict.  If any incident affecting one working hour must be reported. If let leaking about 10 liters of chemicals to the land also must report the impact on the environment. This report not only submitted to the company management, but also must be sent to parties such as: lenders; sponsors.

As observed what have been done at NSRP project, we can conclude that the environment protection, safety & security of the plan is under very tight control and put at the first priority.

Source: PetroTimes