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Vietnam's top refinery at risk of shutdown with debt talks stalled

Gasoline shortage possible as Hanoi balks at payment extension for project with Japan

The Nghi Son refinery in Vietnam, which supplies much of the country's gasoline, is operating above its designed capacity. (Photo by Yuji Nitta)

HANOI -- The company running Vietnam's largest oil refinery is at risk of defaulting on debt as soon as November, raising the specter of a shutdown as talks to bring the government on board with a restructuring plan remain stalled.

Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical, operator of the refinery in the northern province of Thanh Hoa, is a joint venture led by Japanese oil major Idemitsu Kosan along with Kuwait Petroleum Europe, Mitsui Chemicals and state-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, also known as PetroVietnam.

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