Japan, Kuwait oil giants plan first foreign-owned fuel retail venture in Vietnam

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A Petrolimex gas station in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Thang A Petrolimex gas station in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Thang

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Japan's Idemitsu Kosan and state-owned Kuwait Petroleum International are waiting for licenses to open a joint-venture distributing petroleum products through wholesale and retail in Vietnam.
If licensed, Idemitsu Q8 Petroleum Limited Liability Company, as the joint-venture is known, will be the first 100 percent foreign-owned business in Vietnam's petroleum product retail market, news website VnExpress reported.
Latest figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed 23 petroleum importers and 69 distributors operated in the market at the end of last year.
State-owned fuel trader Petrolimex controls around half of the domestic market, which relies on imports for a majority of the supply.
Idemitsu Q8 will be headquartered in Hanoi with a system of service stations around the country, the Tokyo-based oil company said in a press release on Monday.
The new company, in which each investor owns a stake of 50 percent, is slated to import petroleum products for distributing here, according to the statement.
It is unclear if it will be engaged in distributing the products of Nghi Son refinery. The project have been developed since 2013 by Idemitsu Kosan and Kuwait Petroleum International in collaboration with Vietnam's national oil giant PetroVietnam and another Japanese business Mitsui Chemicals.
The country's second refinery in the central province of Thanh Hoa is expected to go online next year with a capacity of 200,000 barrels per day.
Together with the first refinery Dung Quat, Nghi Son will provide around 17.6 cubic meters of petroleum products, including diesel and gasoline, in 2018, which will meet the local demand, PetroVietnam estimated.

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