A man has his motorbike refilled at a gas station (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Petrol imports this year should be sharply reduced as the Nghi Son Refinery comes into operation and the output of Dung Quat Refinery meets most of the local demand, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai.

The Deputy Minister also said the import of crude oil in 2019 and following years would be increased to serve refineries.

The output of the two refineries will meet up to 90 percent of the domestic market demand, gradually reducing the country’s reliance on imported petrol.

On December 23, 2018, Nghi Son Refinery officially came into full operation. The project has the largest scale and investment – 9 billion USD – of a refinery in Vietnam so far. The first phase of the project supplies 200,000 barrels of oil per day following five years of construction.

The ministry said the refinery has provided around five million tonnes of oil since June 2018. It produces RON 92, RON 95 petrol and diesel.

Once the refinery operates at 100 percent of its designed capacity, it will supply 10 million tonnes of oil per year, meeting 40 percent of the country’s fuel demands and providing 17 percent of exports.

The Deputy Minister said that last year Vietnam imported around eight billion tonnes of petrol. Statistics from the General Department of Customs showed Malaysia was the biggest source of petrol for Vietnam with 3.12 million tonnes worth 1.97 billion USD, accounting for 29 percent of the import volume.

The petrol import price surged by 34.5 percent in 2018 to reach an average of 633.2 USD per tonne. In November alone, the country imported 255,507 tonnes of petrol with a value of 160.5 million USD, posting 19.4 percent and 5.5 percent increases in terms of quantity and turnover, respectively.

The Republic of Korea, Singapore, China and Thailand were also big petrol exporters to Vietnam. — VNS/VNA