|A fuel station closes down in Bình Chánh District, HCM City. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) called for greater collaboration among ministerial-level offices as well as the PetroVietnam Group, the Nghi Sơn Refinery and Bình Sơn Refinery to help address the on-going fuel supply disruption.
In a letter to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the MoIT stressed the importance of unhindered movement of fuel trucks to fuel stations. In recent weeks, a number of stations reportedly closed after their storage was depleted.
The MoIT urged the MPS and local authorities to allow fuel trucks to travel all hours to quickly resupply depleted stations as demand continued to surge, especially during rush hours.
In a message to the Nghi Sơn Refinery and Bình Sơn Refinery, the MoIT asked the two, the largest producers of petroleum products in the country, to take all measures to ensure stable output in the future.
The MoIT said the refineries must also streamline their procedures to hand off products quicker to retailers, including those without a signed contract, to ease out of the fuel shortage.
The ministry asked the PetroVietnam Group to support the refineries to maintain maximum output and retailers with logistical issues to seek ways to increase production in the future. Meanwhile, the group must prepare plans to import more fuel to make up for the shortage as the combined output of Nghi Sơn and Bình Sơn could only meet 80 per cent of the market's demand.
Key priorities included maintaining stable supply to all stations across the country and increased incentives to help retailers cope with financial losses with the goal of ending supply disruption.
On Sunday, the Bình Sơn Refinery's output was raised to 112 per cent, the highest since it went operational after an effort was taken to boost crude oil supply to the refinery. Earlier in October, the refinery raised its output from 107 to 109 per cent. The refinery supplied the market with 6.6 million cubic metres of fuel, an excess of nearly half a million cubic metres above target production for the month.
In response to MoIT's earlier request to adjust retail fuel prices, the Ministry of Finance has given the green light for a likely price increase during the next price cycle, which is set to take place on Friday.
"Barring major changes, increased costs on retailers' part will be reflected in the next price adjustment," said a representative from MoIT.
Retailers have voiced grievances over rising import costs, which has resulted in fuel stations cutting back on staff and operational hours and longer wait times at the pumps. VNS