TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's biggest oil refiner Eneos Holdings Inc 5020.T will shift its joint venture with PetroChina Co 601857.SS0857.HK to Eneos' Chiba refinery after shutting the venture's Osaka refinery next month, Eneos said on Friday.
Eneos plans to close the 115,000 barrel per day (bpd) Osaka refinery that it jointly operated with Petrochina next month amid falling demand for fuel in Japan.
Eneos, formerly known as JXTG, said that the joint venture, which is 51% held by Eneos and the rest by PetroChina, will take over the 129,000-bpd Chiba refinery near Tokyo from December.
“We came to the conclusion that utilizing Chiba refinery’s export capacity would contribute the most to a further development of our joint venture which is aimed at strengthening the foundation of stable energy supply in the Asia-Pacific region,” Eneos said in a statement.
The Chiba refinery will process crude supplied by PetroChina and export refined products which will be marketed by PetroChina, an Eneos spokeswoman said. She declined to comment where the products will be sold.
The two companies formed the joint venture and started jointly operating the Osaka refinery in 2010, with a view that demand for oil products would grow in the Asia-Pacific region while that in Japan would decline.
The Osaka plant will be converted to an asphalt-fueled electric power station after ending refining operations.
Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Christian Schmollinger
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