(EnergyAsia, May 29, Thursday) — The Vietnamese government has issued a licence to a Kuwaiti-Japanese joint venture that is planning to build a US$6.2 billion refinery in the country.

The 200,000 b/d plant, due to start up in 2013, will be located in the Nghi Son Economic Zone in the northern province of Thanh Hoa, south of the capital city of Hanoi.

According to Kuwaiti sources, the project is being spearheaded by a joint venture between Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), which is an arm Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), and Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan.

The plant, using Kuwaiti crude oil as feedstock, is owned by KPI (35.1%), Idemitsu (35.1%), PetroCietnam (25.1%) and Mitsui (4.7%).

Vietnam has one refinery under construction, the 140,000 b/d Dung Quat plant in central Quang Ngai province which is expected to start up early next year.