Cradle of Petrolimex soldier’s characteristics

Thuy Ha

Vietnam Trade and Industry Review

10:00 AM @ Thursday - 20 August, 2015

A Vietnamese saying goes “Sinh con rồi mới sinh Cha, sinh cháu giữ nhà rồi mới sinh Ông” (A child was born before the Father, a grandson was born before the Grandfather). The ancients’ implication of advantages and logics seems to be right in the case of the Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex). In other words, Petrolimex Hai Phong was established on July 29, 1955, several months before Petrolimex officially came into being on January 12, 1956. To have a better knowledge of this circumstance as well as the role and position of Petrolimex Hai Phong in a new stage of development, the Industry and Trade magazine talked with the Petrolimex Party Secretary and Board of Management chairman, Bui Ngoc Bao.

Hai Phong – the cradle of Vietnam’s revolutionary oil and gas industry

Petrolimex Party Secretary and Board of Management chairman, Bui Ngoc Bao

Vietnam Trade and Industry Review: The SCTV (Saigontourist Cable Television Company Limited) has broadcast the documentaryPetrolimex Chronicles, of which the first episode is entitledHai Phong – the cradle of Vietnam’s oil and gas industry. Through the film, the audience nation-wide have a better understanding of Petrolimex’s history as well as revolutionary tradition. Could you please speak a little more about the word “revolutionary” of the oil and gas industry?

Bui Ngoc Bao: Yes, the first episode Hai Phong – the cradle of Vietnam’s revolutionary oil and gas industry of the multi-episode documentary Petrolimex Chronicles, which SCTV is producing through field trips to many places, was officially made public on May 1, 2015.

As far as I’m concerned, the word “revolutionary” used in the film is fully accurate, comes to the point, and very “high-priced”, which few people can recognize, understand and reflect. I want to express my sincere thanks to SCTV for this significant finding.

First and foremost, whenever mentioning the history of an industry in any area/region, one will talk about its inception.

In reality, the oil and gas industry has existed in Vietnam for more than 100 years, from the beginning of the rench colonial rule.

The French colony brought petrol into Vietnam mainly to serve its colonialization purposes; with petroleum storage facilities in Hai Phong and in Sai Gon (now Ho Chi Minh City). That practice gave birth to the country’s young petrol working class.

Nevertheless, the country’s oil and gas industry only took shape started on March 13, 1928 due to an important event: for the first time, Vietnam’s petrol workers waged a struggle by going on strike. And its success created an echo in the anti-French movement in Vietnam at that time.

It was very the patriotism of Vietnamese people and the vanguardism of the petroleum working class under the leadership of the Party, particularly the direction of Nguyen Duc Canh (1908-1932, one of the founders of the Vietnamese Trade Union) that contributed to that success.

Documents about March 13, 1928 were fully accurate and of high historical values for relevant bodies to ask for approval from the Prime Minister to specify March 13 as the Traditional Day of the Vietnam’s Oil and Gas Industry.

The Traditional Day of Vietnam’s Oil and Gas Industry and the revolutionism of this day also connect closely to a historical geographic name in Hai Phong – the Petrolimex Hai Phong’s Thuong Ly Fuel Depot.

As soon as Vietnam won the Dien Bien Phu campaign, forcing the French colonialists and related parties to sign the Geneva Agreement to restore peace in Vietnam, the then Chairman of the Military and Administrative Committee of Hai Phong and late General Secretary of the Communist of Party of Vietnam, Do Muoi signed and promulgated the Decree No.1566 on July 29, 1955, making a requisition of the Thuong Ly Oil Department. The day, July 29, 1955 was then considered as the day Petrolimex Hai Phong was officially established. That’s why on July 29, 2015, Petrolimex Hai Phong celebrated the 60th anniversary of its establishment and development.

We are oil workers

Precious spiritual heritage for future generations

Vietnam Trade and Industry Review: More than 87 years have gone by since the first Traditional Day of the Vietnam’s Oil and Gas Industry (March 13, 1928), could you please share with us how the “revolutionism” has been preserved and demonstrated?

Bui Ngoc Bao: The 20 episodes of the Petrolimex Chronicles produced by SCTV and broadcast in 2015 will retell the whole history of Petrolimex’s establishment and development over the past 60 years as well as its revolutionism.

The steadiness in difficulties through various stages of the war time; the pioneering spirit in the modern corporate administration; the system and responsibility demonstrated through specific deeds of each official, cadre and employee of many generations over the past 60 years towards the country, from the key economic hubs to underprivileged and border areas and islands; corporate management based on advanced tools including the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software), Egas, 5S, and so on – these strongly demonstrate the revolutionism of the Vietnam oil and gas industry that we all respect, preserve and bring into full play.

We understand the history to feel proud of our tradition; to advance upward from our own internal strengths; and to interpret our successes.

Till now, although Petrolimex has been operating under the model of a joint-stock companyand public company, and gradually shifting to the market; it is impossible to not mention such start-up as a crucial driving force for the company’s development.

These material facilities have been upgraded and completely rebuilt from the obsolete foundations and become spacious and modern ones. Basically speaking, they are all based on the previous grounds of establishments such as Thuong Ly Fuel Depot, Duc Giang Fuel Depot and Nha Be Fuel Depot, among others, where still accommodate vestiges from the past though few in number due to the destruction of the wars before 1972 in the north and 1975 in the south.

These vestiges and other historic evidences retold through the documentary’s precious story-lines show us Petrolimex’s revolutionism during the patriotic fighting as well as during the present national construction and defense.

That is little known. It is the very SCTV that is revitalizing those glorious days in the documentary Petrolimex Chronicles so that the present generations can have a better understanding of the history of an industry – the Vietnam’s revolutionary oil and gas industry. That is also previous spiritual heritage handed over from previous generations to the future ones.

A Petrolimex Hai Phong petrol station

From “petrol centre” to “multi-sectoral centre” in the north

Vietnam Trade and Industry Review: Could you please specify the role and position of Petrolimex Hai Phong in the past and at present?

Bui Ngoc Bao: I can say that Petrolimex Hai Phong played an extremely important role during years of the patriotic wars.

That time, as soon as it was established (July 29,1955) Petrolimex Hai Phong became the major recipient of all oil and gas resources supplied for the socialism construction in the North and for the struggle for the south liberation and national reunification in the South.

If we carefully watch story lines in the first episode of Petrolimex Chronicles, we will easily recognize that the documents are the most honest evidences of the role and position of Petrolimex Hai Phong.

Hai Phong was regarded as the centre for the development along coastal areas running through to Nghe An Province in the Central; satisfying demands of the whole wide northern region.

With its growth and strength, Petrolimex has established member companies “stretching” across the nation and even reaching foreign countries.

Although Petrolimex Hai Phong now is charged with supplying oil and gas for Hai Phong City and areas in the vicinity, Hai Phong remains a significant point in the economic triangle in the north connecting Ha Noi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh.

Vietnam Trade and Industry Review: Which orientations you and the Petrolimex leadership have put forth for the development of Petrolimex Hai Phong in the new period – the period of integration and competition?

Bui Ngoc Bao: As I said above, Hai Phong is a key economic hub of the northern region. Like in the past, the Thuong Ly Fuel Depot now remains a centre for Petrolimex activities in the north under the consistent orientation of the Petrolimex leadership for many years.

Thuong Ly Fuel Depot is the place where Petrolimex diverse activities have converged and Petrolimex professions nourished.

It can also be said that Petrolimex Hai Phong is an indispensable part of Petrolimex because Hai Phong has become a centre of Gas Petrolimex (gas warehouses act as entrepots of gas products); a centre of the Petrolimex petrochemistry (the city is home to oil and lubricant, asphalt, and chemical plants to supply for provinces in the north and central); and a centre of other activities including maritime transportation provided by companies such as Vietnam Petroleum Transport Joint Stock Company (Vipco) and Hai Phong Petrolimex Transportation and Services Joint stock Company (PTS Hai Phong), and banking and insurance.

In other words, most of Petrolimex multi-sectoral activities in the north converge on Hai Phong and consider the city as the central point to develop and expand.

Over the past 30 years, Petrolimex has funneled hundreds of dollars into these sectors in Hai Phong, from which establishing Vietnam’s leading specialized corporations such as Petrolimex Lubricants Company(PLC), Petrolimex Gas Corporation (PGC), and Petrolimex Tanker Corporation (PGT), among others operating both at home and abroad.

Hai Phong demonstrates a vivid example of the Petrolimex’s mottos of “Right orientations, efficient management will bring home the bacon” and “Honoring the past to go further” that I ever highlighted during our previous interviews printed on the Vietnam Trade and Industry Review.

Soldier’s characteristics and human affection

Vietnam Trade and Industry Review: Which message would you like to convey to Petrolimex Hai Phong staff in particular and the whole staff of Vietnam’s revolutionary oil and gas industry in general on the occasion of the 60th founding anniversary of Petrolimex Hai Phong?

Bui Ngoc Bao: Petrolimex Hai Phong will celebrate its 60th anniversary on July 29, 2015, which means the celebration comes earliest among Petrolimex member companies and even several months ahead of the establishment of Petrolimex (Petrolimex will celebrate its 60th anniversary on January 12, 2016).

It is like when the whole world welcomes a New Year, Hai Phong is the place the New Year arrives first.

This is an incident of history and geography, and an honor of the majority of Petrolimex Hai Phong cadres and laborers.

This is also the joy of all 27,000 Petrolimex cadres and laborers of different generations who have dedicated and even sacrificed their life for the Group’s development during the past 60 years.

In 2014 and 2015, the Petrolimex leadership and Vietnam National Petroleum Trade Union launched an emulation movement far and wide to celebrate the nation’s big celebrations in the direction to the 12th National Party Congress and the 60th founding anniversary of Petrolimex (January 12, 1956 – January 12, 2016). The movement has met with a warm response from Petrolimex staff, giving rise to numerous well-performing individuals and organizations in such common but specific efforts.

In addition, under the SCTV cooperation, the Petrolimex Chronicles series which have been and are filmed at Petrolimex member companies from the North to the South, will showcase these efforts to both domestic and foreign audience.

As Petrolimex Hai Phong is about to celebrate the 60th founding anniversary, Petrolimex Party Committee, Board of Management and Board of Directors and the Vietnam National Petroleum Trade Union all desire that Petrolimex Chronicles will provide a thumbnail description of the whole history of Petrolimex; demonstrating the Petrolimex spirits of “Responsibility – Enthusiasm – Optimism - Trust” to “go further” or, in other words, “Petrolimex soldier’s characteristics and human affection” as called by SCTV film crew.

Petrolimex Chronicles is a genre of television journalism which reflects Petrolimex current operations, and historic materials and witnesses through specific stories and records. This demonstrates a gratefulness to all people who have been and are working for Petrolimex, and to all general people and soldiers that have had a close connection with Petrolimex in its attempts to become a strong and dynamic economic group of Vietnam, and to successfully integrate and reach out to the region and the world.

Sixty years lay the solid foundations of a new stage of development, for which the whole Petrolimex staff are well-prepared. We are strongly self-confident to advance towards the future. That belief is not groundless because what remains after 60 years of operation is highly valued and crystallized to build up Petrolimex brand name, Petrolimex culture, and a letter “P” which is shining from its own internal strengths, and from all-out efforts of each Petrolimex laborer in the intimate connection with the nation.

That is our confidence, and that is the expectation of Petrolimex shareholders, partners, customers, and the whole public that we need to honor, preserve and continue nourishing to deserve such belief and love.

That is the key message Petrolimex would like to convey on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Petrolimex Hai Phong, the coming 60th anniversary of Petrolimex itself as well as the founding anniversaries of many member companies in 2015.

Vietnam Trade and Industry Review: Thank you for your time!.

Vietnam National Petroleum Group - Petrolimex (PLX)

Committed to constantly making an effort to go further on the path of development and bring the lives of Vietnamese people and all Petrolimex employees to new heights in the future