February 28, 2013 / 2:05 PM / 5 years ago

Brazil in talks with Sinopec over oil refinery partnership

* Two diesel refineries being built in northeast Brazil

* Petrobras CEO currently negotiating in China

BRASILIA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Brazil’s government is negotiating a partnership with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) to finish work on two oil refineries, Brazil’s energy minister said on Thursday.

The partnership with Brazil’s state-led oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) would help ensure the completion of the Premium I refinery in the northeastern state of Maranhão and the Premium II refinery in nearby Ceará state by 2018.

“The president of Petrobras is in China negotiating right now,” Brazilian Mine and Energy Minister Edison Lobão told reporters in Brasilia.

Petrobras is trying to reduce its dependence on imported fuels by building more domestic refineries. The Premium refineries will produce diesel fuel.

China is Brazil’s top trading partner.

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