PM seeks Japanese bank's support for reforming Nghi Son oil refinery

By Hoai Thu   December 18, 2023 | 11:22 pm PT
PM seeks Japanese bank's support for reforming Nghi Son oil refinery
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính (front right) met Maeda Tadashi (left), Chairman of the Japan International Cooperation Bank, Dec. 18, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Nhat Bac
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has sought the support of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the embattled Nghi Son oil refinery’s main creditor, to turn the latter around.

The PM, who was in Japan from Dec. 15-28, met with the lender’s chairman Maeda Tadashi Monday, and asked him to help reform the refinery, especially by restructuring its loan and reducing the interest rate.

This would help it cut costs, Chinh said.

Tadashi said his bank considered the project to be very important and would make every effort to assist it and urge other parties to do the same.

JBIC and Japanese insurer Nippon Export and Investment Insurance would brainstorm strategies to mitigate existing issues and restructure the refinery’s operations, he promised.

The Nghi Son oil refinery, which accounts for a third of Vietnam’s oil and petroleum supply, faces numerous challenges including mounting losses.

Chinh and his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio agreed during talks earlier to establish a coordination team to speed up and improve bilateral projects, including Nghi Son.

At a meeting with executives from Japanese energy company Idemitsu, one of investors in Nghi Son, on Sunday, Chinh asked it and its partners to continue restructuring the project, improving its management and operations, applying new technology to lower costs and recoup losses as soon as possible.

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