A group from Thailand and Vietnam 's central province of Binh Dinh are together conducting a feasibility study for a 30 billion USD petrochemical refinery project in the province.

The two entities were given the nod by the Vietnamese Government in May after preparing a pre-feasibility report.

Representatives from Thailand 's oil and gas PTT Group and local authorities on August 15 visited the site designated for the planned complex in the province's Nhon Hoi Economic Zone.

Sukrit Surabotsopon, senior executive vice-president of the petrochemicals and refining business unit at PTT, said the area is a perfect location.

At a press briefing in the province, Surabotsopon said factors attracting the PTT Group to the locality are the great support from local authorities and 2,000-ha land that has already been cleared and "embedded with fine infrastructure".

The Petroleum Authority of Thailand on August 15 announced three international companies as consultants for the project.

The McKinsey Company was selected as a strategic project manager, Foster Wheeler will carry out engineering consultation and the preliminary stages of the project, and IHS Inc will support import and export from now to May next year.

PTT Group has plans for a complex that will compete with companies from Singapore and the Republic of Korea for five years. The group had wanted to build in Thailand , but decided on Binh Dinh province to avoid export taxes in his country.

"We are aiming at exporting our products to countries in the ASEAN economic community, including Vietnam, thus the complex based here will be more economically profitable," said Surabotsopon.

The Thai group will contribute about 40 percent of the total expected investment of 30 billion USD.

During the feasibility study process for final approval by the Government next year, the PTT Group intends to lure international investors from various sectors to the project.

Meanwhile, the Binh Dinh People's Committee said it will find qualified domestic investors to work with the group in different sections of the project.

The scale of the complex, which will refine oil and produce petrochemical products such as olefins and aromatics, will be decided by PTT Group after the feasibility study is done.

"We might complete this world-class complex in one go or separate it into two stages," Surabotsopon said.

With proposed capacity of about 32 million tonnes of crude oil a year, the complex is expected to be able to supply all demands for oil and petrochemical products in Vietnam and also export to the global market.

Le Huu Loc, chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said the refinery complex will be a key impetus to the province's development.

"It is clear that it will lift up the province's economy and create jobs for thousands," he said.

The refinery complex will be the biggest one in the economic zone, where, so far, Quy Nhon Port is the only business operating at full capacity. The project will help the development and expansion of the port as well.

Loc pledged to implement strict environmental assessments before submitting the complex proposal to the Government, ensuring the least impacts on local nature.-VNA