KUWAIT-- Kuwait has dispatched first shipment of crude oil to its newly built refinery in Vietnam, signaling imminent start of the installation operations.

Kuwait Petroleum International's (KPI) Vice President Ghanem Al-Otaibi said at a news conference on Thursday that the first shipment of crude oil had been sent to the Kuwaiti-built Vietnam refinery, cost of which stood at approximately USD 9.2 billion.

Nghi Son's refinery is forecast to secure substantial proceeds for Kuwait, thus attaining some of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation's strategic objectives; expanding investments abroad and finding secured outlets for the Kuwaiti oil, said Al-Otaibi, noting that the shipment dispatch signaled imminent launch of the operations at the refinery.

He lauded the Kuwaiti personnel who work at the project site, noting that the KPI faced some "challenges," such as secured operation of all the units with full capacity, adding that the company had already begun retail marketing of the oil products in Vietnam.

For his part, Walid Al-Badr, the deputy managing director for marketing crude and petroleum derivatives, revealed that the first shipment, which headed today to the Asian nation, included two million barrels of crude oil, adding that it was forecast to reach its destination by August 19.

Another quantity of crude of the same volume would be sent to the refinery in Vietnam on August 11, he disclosed further.

Elaborating, Al-Badr announced that four million barrels of crude oil would be dispatched to the same refinery in September. Totally, up to six shipments, containing 12 million barrels of crude oil, would be sent to Vietnam during the first quarter of this year.

The refinery erected in Nghi Song, a region located 200 kilometers south of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi, has a refining capacity of 200,000 barrels per day. Execution of the venture began in July 2013.


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