JX Nippon Oil & Energy has closed a 20-billion-yen (US$117 million) deal to acquire a stake of around 10 percent in state-controlled fuel importer Petrolimex, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Tuesday.
Selling more than half of oil products in Vietnam, Petrolimex has been offering shares to private investors since 2011. It is expected to reduce the state-owned stake from around 95 percent to as low as 65 percent.
After negotiations that last more than a year, the Japanese petroleum company is now considering joining Petrolimex in an oil refinery project with a capacity of 200,000 barrels per day in Van Phong Economic Zone, it said.
Petrolimex has been seeking foreign investors for the refinery in the central province of Khanh Hoa since 2014. A few companies have expressed their interest in the $8-billion project, but none have closed any deal so far.
Given that the country's sole Dung Quat oil refinery meets only 30-40 percent of the local demand, Vietnam has attracted Japanese energy investors who have been seeking to increase their activities overseas, now that Japan's oil demand has shrunk, Nikkei reported.
Idemitsu Kosan, another Japanese petroleum company, has reportedly pledged $9 billion for another oil refinery in the central province of Thanh Hoa, more than 150 kilometers from Hanoi.