Petrolimex Petrochemical Corporation (PLC) is a symbol of success of Vietnamese enterprise, holding the appreciation of the whole country. To continue “decoding PLC phenomenon” , Industry and Trade Magazine (ITM) would like to introduce to readers the interview of Dr. Bui Ngoc Bao, Party Secretary, Chairman of Board of Management of Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex/ Group) . He formerly was Director of the first Lub and Grease Department of Petrolimex and later the first Director General of PLC.
|Mr. Bui Ngoc Bao|
Right and beyond time vision
Reporter: Mr. Bao, you were the Director of the first Lub and Grease Department of Petrolimex (1992), the first Director General of PLC (1994), you are requested, on behalf of the various leadership generations of PLC and Petrolimex share with us some deepest feelings on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of PLC.
Mr. Bao: The forerunner of PLC was the lubricants. At that time, lubricants was considered as the secondary product. (Reporter: secondary to main oils) . “Secondary” but very essential, and very important.
Lubricants always go hand in hand with main oils,
Before 1990 the business of lubricants was mainly the distribution of foreign products: from the former Soviet Union and other brands.
Right at that time, with the consciousness that lubs would be in the competition sector and the state would soon open the market for this sector. Petrolimex leadership decided that there must be lubricants of Vietnamese brand.
To complete successfully, it was imperative to have own brand, technology, material infrastructure, resources and products.
To reach these targets speedily, the most effective solution was through technological transfer from foreign lubricant firms and at the same time set up independent business structures.
With that in mind, Petrolimex leadership came to an important decision. That was to sign contract with ELF from France to become a full member of Marine Lubricant Association , and together with BP to produce and market BP lubricants for land lubs, and form a joint venture with BP (Reporter: until now this joint venture between Petrolimex and BP is operating efficiently).
In the year 1994, all preparation works were done, Petrolimex established Petrolimex Lubricants Company (PLC) comprising the head office and lubricants enterprises in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City – transferring from Petrolimex petroleum companies to PLC.
PLC does business not only in lubricants but also in other petrochemical products of strong points such as bitumen and chemicals.
Until now, PLC business includes three fields. All these fields are different and all are classified in “Top Rank” in Vietnam.
PLC has its own products, bearing successful brands in all aspects, and continues to further develop in the future.
I have firm confidence in the development process of PLC.
This success is the crystallization of the heart and mind of Petrolimex and PLC leadership together with the utmost efforts by the contingent of engineers, experts and workers of various generations.
For the leaders, that was the vision and resolve: go in right direction, go first and in advance. For the officers and workers, that was the unison in mind, dedication to work and devotion to the enterprise.
An important story
Reporter: Mr. Bao, not only me but the editor board and staff of ITM highly admire the development of PLC. However I would like to request you to tell us some important events in the development process of PLC.
Mr. Bao: I will tell you two stories
The 1st story: Until now, many people have a query : You are domestic Vietnamese enterprise, but your PLC products have foreign names like: Racer, Carter , Gear Oil… Why don’t you give your products Vietnamese names or Vietnamize the names?
The answer to this is very simple: PLC orientation is to internationalize its products. That is the strategy for development and for the competition with big firms of the world. The naming of our products must be internationalized. The naming of each product must be carefully pondered so as to separate it in its category and its standard is internationalized.
This is not “foreign addiction” as some might think. It is not right to think that it is “foreign addiction”.
In fact, PLC products are being distributed at home, moreover they have been exported to many countries and territories.
PLC is successfully producing very high grade products of international recognition and certificates for overweight and oversize machinery and equipment .
This is a development worthy of note by a domestic company. This is a very big success of PLC through its 20 years of establishment and development.
The 2nd story: Reverting to the initial stage to see the “rough” road we covered.
When talking about products, many people do not believe that we can produce products of Vietnamese brand.
When decision was made there were still different opinions that we could succeed “ there can’t be lubricants of Vietnamese brand next to big international brands like BP, Castrol, Shell… because lubricant sector requires very high technology involving formulas, additive components in order to respond to ever increasing and modern machinery and equipment.”
The above worries at that time were not groundless because our material infrastructure was very simple, even obsolete and backward. And the demand was too high, nearly impossible.
This was the most difficult and arduous stage in the process of development of PLC. However it was the most important moment for the making of decisions, reflecting the resolve for investment in all resources for the coming into being of proud PLC products bearing Vietnamese brand of today.
Data showing PLC success were given to you by Mr. Nguyen Van Duc, Director General of PLC
PLC leadership instecting the construction of Nha Be lubricant plant
Two separate fields are “Top Rank”
Reporter: Mr. Bao, you just mentioned that PLC had three different fields: lubricants, bitumen and chemicals and they are all in “Top Rank” in Vietnam. Please tell us about the remaining two fields.
Mr. Bao: PLC is one of the first Vietnamese enterprise doing business in bitumen.
This is also the aim of PLC right after its establishment. That is the reason why the full name of PLC must be Petrolimex Petrochemicval Corporation. . The word “ petrochemical” indicates a larger field linking with the future of “refinery” activity.
Bitumen here is liquid bitumen.
It is safe to say that PLC is engaing in almost all construction of communication infrastructure in Vietnam, by a big ratio. Bitumen has its own technology, not only emulsified bitumen but also polimer and emulsion bitumen and other kinds at the service of construction of other projects of higher grades.
Bitumen market as we know is very open and very competitive between foreign firms of reputation, age old experience and very powerful financing.
In spite of that PLC makes its own technology and own product, taking big market share, having the trrust of project investors as the main supplier for their important projects.
This is a big accent mark noting the success of PLC.
As for chemicals, PLC is now dealing mainly in solvents, liquid for paint, for rubber…They are of traditional products of Petrolimex. PLC business concentrates on higher professional sectors. Solvent market is highly open, very competitive, very fierce . However PLC market share is biggest. Besides, PLC deals in chemicals for printing industry, foam making. This sector has many products and they are products of petrochemical industry. PLC is now actively marketing and is now building a network of distribution and clientele in anticipation of products of Van Phong Petrochemical and Refinery Project which Petrolimex Group will proceed in the time to come.
PLC ability to rise
Reporter: Mr. Bao, we are really glad at the growth of PLC and what were achieved by PLC and Petrolimex . Petrolimnex is a strong and multi-sectoral economic group with right orientation and beyond time. How do you comment on the role of PLC in the Group now and your view on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of PLC?
Mr. Bao: Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) does business in some vital sectors Oils and gasoline, lubricants, gas, oil transport, construction and installation and financial institutions.
Each corporation and professional company, member of Petrolimex, in charge of a specific and in-depth sector must develop toward top rank in its sector, with long term vision and orientation, highly socialized, stronger and broader development, and outward looking.
Petrolimex Petrochemical Corporation (PLC) is one of vanguard unit, succesfull in that orientation and continues to rise stronger.
Achievement that PLC contributes to the Group is very big. PLC efforts and its achievements are noted, recogconized by investors, in stock exchange market, by customers and partners, the public, by users (private and enterprises) in Vietnam and a number of countries and territories.
The success, most significant and most durable in PLC in my opinion is the spirit to advance, words go with deeds, dreams link with action.
The above is the crystalization of the past which we cherish and I believe the contingent of leaders, officers and workers of PLC continue to develop in order to materialize their dream of becoming the top enterprise in Vietnam in the field of lubricants, successfully integrate and compete in the region and the world , contributing further to the development of Petrolimex and the country.
Up to today, in the professional companies of Petrolimex, PLC remains one of the best managed companies.
PLC is the first enterprise in Petrolimex Group that has the management system ISO 9000 and also the unit that sucessfully applies the “Enterprise Resources Program” (ERP), earlierst not only in the Group but also in Vietnam.
It is safe to say that with 20 years of establishment and development, PLC becomes a very firm professional company in lubricants, bitumen, chemicals by a very transparent set up. PLC has become a public company listed in HNX stock exchange.
The success of PLC today is inseparable from the enthusiastic cooperation of all petroleum companies of the Group, giving the most imnportant distruibution network , helping PLC brand and products crossing all 63 provinces of the country.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of esrablishment, I would like to express my gratitude to shareholders, partners, customers, users of PLC and Petrolimex in and out of the country.
We strive together to move further
Reporter: Thank you for this interesting interview.