Construction of the country’s first ever fish oil refinery began in Binh Thanh commune, Lap Vo district, the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, on Feb. 23.

The project has a total capital of 15 million USD invested by the Sao Mai An Giang Group with equipment provided by the Belgium-based Desmet Balesstra.

The refinery will refine fat of “tra” and “basa” fish, which is available in the Mekong Delta, to oil for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs.

The plant is expected to be put into operation by the first quarter of 2012 to produce 100 tonnes of refined fish oil and increase its capacity to 200 tonnes/day from its third year of operation.

The project is aimed at reducing import of cooking oil and then for exports./.