Vietnam's largest refinery says to run at full capacity to meet fuel demand
HANOI, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Vietnam's largest refinery will run operations at full capacity in the fourth quarter to ensure stable supplies of petroleum products for the domestic market, its owner Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical (NSRP) said on Tuesday.
The 200,000-barrel-per-day refinery will supply 2.4 million-2.5 million cubic metres of fuel products in the October-December period as committed, it said in a statement.
The statement comes days after several petrol stations in southern Vietnam shut down or limited their sales, citing financial difficulties, according to state media.
"Recently, the fuel supply from abroad to Vietnam has faced many difficulties that have possibly led to shortage of petroleum products at some petrol agents and retail gas stations," NSRP said.
On Thursday, the country's other refinery, Binh Son, said it had ramped up its production to meet domestic fuel demand and was operating at 109% of its designed capacity.
The two refineries combined meet around 70% of Vietnam's refined fuel needs.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Industry and Trade asked the State Bank of Vietnam to help local fuel traders have better access to foreign currencies to pay for imports, as they face a steep increase in prices.
Vietnam's refined fuel imports in the first nine months of this year rose 22.7% from a year earlier to 6.52 million tonnes, but the import value rose 131% to $6.8 billion, according to government customs data.
NSRP is 35.1% owned by Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co (5019.T), 35.1% by Kuwait Petroleum, 25.1% by Vietnam's state oil firm PetroVietnam and 4.7% by Mitsui Chemicals Inc (4183.T).
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