Petrobras to close its Okinawa refinery

Tokyo: Petrobras will close its refinery in Okinawa as part of a withdrawal from Japan.

Economic conditions, particularly declining oil demand, are responsible for the Brazilian energy giant’s decision.

State-controlled Petrobras had planned since 2011 to sell the Nishihara refinery on Okinawa so it could concentrate on developing offshore projects off its domestic coast. But no matching buyer could be found, hence Thursday’s report in Japanese media of the closure.

Petrobras is going to build an import terminal on the site with the intention of selling it to another refinery. It could receive fuel products from South Korea and Japan.

The firm had had a presence in Japan since 2000 when it opened offices in Tokyo and it began making partnerships with Japanese companies. The Okinawa refinery was created with plans for the Brazilian energy giant to make serious inroads into the Asian energy sales market, something that never materialised.

For the past half year Petrobras has been wrestling with more than just the turbulence of the world economy. It has had its reputation battered by the extensive corruption scandal that has embroiled numerous overseas companies and leading Brazilian politicians as well as Petrobras executives.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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