By TSUYOSHI INAJIMA and YUJI OKADA
MINATO (Bloomberg) -- Cosmo Oil and Kyokuto Petroleum
Industries will consider cooperating on the operation of their
Chiba refineries to improve efficiency.
TonenGeneral Sekiyu and Mitsui Oil, owners of Kyokuto
Sekiyu, and Cosmo Oil agreed to consider building a pipeline
between their two plants in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo, the
three companies said in a statement. The trio may also set up a
joint venture to coordinate operations of the two refineries,
Japanese refiners are under pressure to restructure to
better compete with competitors in South Korea, China and other
Asian countries. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry,
which oversees Japans refining industry, plans to expand
subsidies for Japanese refiners to operate jointly and scrap
inefficient facilities starting next year, it
said in August.
Each refinery has different equipment
configuration, and we have been always thinking that it would
work well if the two refineries cooperate in operation,
Koji Moriyama, the general manager of Cosmo Oils
corporate planning department, told reporters in Tokyo.
Details of cooperation have yet to be decided, Moriyama
The three companies plan to report progress on the talks in
the first quarter of next year, Kosuke Kai,
TonenGenerals spokesman, told reporters.