The European Investment Bank is lending EUR 55 million to the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation, a state-owned company, for the construction of a 400 km long gas pipeline from the Nam Con Son Basin in the South China Sea to the region around Ho Chi Minh City. A consortium of companies, including the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation, British Petroleum, Statoil of Norway, Mobil of USA and Tomen of Japan, is developing the project. BP will act as operator for both the gasfields and the pipeline. The first gas is expected to flow in year 2001.

The pipeline will contribute to the economic growth of Vietnam as a key link for establishing a gas market, mainly for the generation of electricity in gas-fired power plants using environment-friendly combined-cycle technology. The project will meet EU policies under the Europe-Asia Co-operation Strategy for Energy and will promote the aims of the EU-ASEAN Co-operation agreements in the fields of energy and improvement of the environment.

The European Investment Bank may lend up to EUR 900 million for investment in projects of mutual interest in Asia and Latin America during the period 1997 to 1999. In 1998, the Bank provided EUR 150 million for three projects located in Asia.

The EIB was set up in 1958 under the Treaty of Rome to provide loan finance for capital investment furthering EU policy objectives, in particular, regional development, European infrastructure, energy, industry and environment. Outside the Union, the EIB contributes to European development co-operation policies in accordance with the terms and conditions laid down in the various agreements linking the Union to some 130 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, Asia and Latin America.

The conversion rates of 1 euro = 1.16675 USD, 16 208.5 VND.