Vietnam is planning to increase the national reserves of crude oil and oil products to 15 days of net imports by 2025 and 30 days by 2030.
It said it was from the current nine days, to ensure its energy security, Vietnam News Agency reported on Monday.
The Southeast Asian country would need 4.1 trillion Vietnamese dongs (172 million U.S. dollars) for the expansion of its fuel buffer, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
However, the government was spending 1.5 trillion Vietnamese dongs (63 million dollars) a year on stocking up on fuel products.
This is equivalent to 37 per cent of the needed funds to acquire additional fuel for the stockpile, Nguyen Hong Dien, the Minister of Industry and Trade, reported to the National Assembly’s Economic Committee.
Vietnam’s petroleum reserves currently stood at around 300,000 cubic meters per year, equivalent to nine days of net imports and seven days of consumption, according to a report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
With a thin stockpile, it is difficult to compensate for supply disruptions amid a global surge in energy prices.
Last year, Vietnam was faced with a shortage of fuel on a large scale for the first time, forcing regulators to adjust retail fuel prices every 10 days instead of 15 days.
The trade ministry forecast this year’s total fuel supply would grow 15 per cent from 2022 to meet rising demand as the country was recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnam imported 1.93 million tonnes of gasoline and oil products in January and February.
It said that up 43.1 per cent from a year earlier as costs jumped 56.3 per cent to 1.7 billion dollars, the General Statistics Office said.
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It also added that Vietnam’s crude oil imports more than doubled in the same period to 1.78 million tonnes worth 1.1 billion dollars.
Vietnam was storing its national fuel reserves at about 20 commercial storage facilities, raising concerns over the level of transparency in storage inflows and outflows.
This was between the national reserves and commercial inventories at trading companies, the trade ministry said.
In 2017, the government requested domestic refineries to maintain crude oil stockpiles worth 15 days of their processing capacity and 10 days of output, or equivalent to 30-35 days of the country’s net imports.
To keep the supply stable, the government also asked importers and distributors to maintain their own stockpiles.
Vietnam currently has two refineries, the Nghi Son Refinery in the northern province of Thanh Hoa and the Dung Quat Refinery in the central province of Quang Ngai.
This is meeting 70-80 per cent of its total fuel needs, and a network of 38 distributors and 17,000 gas stations. (Xinhua/NAN)