This tiny Asian nation, still struggling to gain a secure economic foothold, is pressing ahead with its first oil refinery which has already become a centre of controversy. Work on the us $1.2 billion prestige project began recently, despite a fund-shortage and doubts over its viability. The refinery is being constructed in Dung Quat, a sandy area in central Quang Nagi province. When operational, it is expected to churn out an astounding 130,000 barrels a day. Vietnam announced the project with much fanfare two years ago and it has not been easy sailing since. The French collaborators soon backed out of the project as it was too far from the country's main southern offshore sources of crude oil to be economically viable.
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