Stavian Chemical, the largest polymers distributor in Vietnam, is building a US$1.5 billion polypropylene plant in the country, raising the prospects of stiffer competition among suppliers in the sector.
The facility will be developed in Quang Ninh province, about three hours’ drive northeast of Hanoi, where it is headquartered. Stavian has offices in China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Ho Chi Minh City.
Under the memorandum of understanding signed with provincial authorities on July 27, the Stavian Quang Yen Petrochemical project, a partnership between Stavian and Yen Hung Liquid Port JSC, will be built on 30 hectares in Bac Tien Phong Industrial Park in Quang Yen town. For its part, the domestic port developer will supply materials for the project.
Provincial officials are in the process of issuing an investment certificate for the joint venture.
Scheduled to start operation by the fourth quarter of 2026, the factory will annually supply 600,000 tonnes of polypropylene (PP), a type of polymer that is used in a variety of industrial applications including plastic packaging, plastic parts for machinery and equipment, as well as fibres and textiles.
According to Stavian, the project proponents have selected the most advanced technologies in PP production for the factory. These include propane dehydrogenation (PDH) technology from US company Honeywell UOP, a leading international supplier and technology licensor for petroleum refining, gas processing, and petrochemical production; and PP technology from Italy-based LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies.
Stavian says the petrochemical facility will also use high-quality equipment to ensure environmentally friendly production and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
Aside from Stavian, other polymers producers in Vietnam include Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical, and South Korea’s Hyosung.
Located in Thanh Hoa province, about 260 kilometres south of Hanoi, Nghi Son is a US$9 billion refinery co-owned by the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (Petrovietnam), Kuwait Petroleum Europe (KPE), and Japan’s Mitsui Chemical and Idemitsu Kosan. The refinery’s polypropylene capacity is 370,000 tonnes a year.
Meanwhile, Binh Son’s annual PP capacity is 150,000 tonnes. Vietnam’s first refinery – better known as Dung Quat Refinery – is a Petrovietnam subsidiary and has so far received more than US$3 billion in investment.
Newest PP producer
Hyosung is operating its 600,000 tonne per year PP plant in Ba Ria - Vung Tau province bordering Ho Chi Minh City. Hyosung Vina Chemicals, as the US$1.3 billion complex is called, is the newest PP producer in Vietnam.
Hyosung Vina Chemicals has two PP production units, each designed with 300,000 tonnes. The first started production in March 2020, and the second began its trial run last September. The compound also includes an LPG terminal and warehouses.
Also in Ba Ria - Vung Tau, dubbed Vietnam’s oil and gas exploration hub, Thai giant Siam Cement Group (SCG) is developing the US$5.4 billion Long Son petrochemical complex. The conglomerate expects the project to start operation next year.
In August 2018, SCG signed loan agreements worth more than US$3.2 billion with six leading financial institutions to carry out the project. The lenders were Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, and Export-Import Bank of Thailand.