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Stalled economy delays Petrobras’ Okinawa plans

Date Posted: 2008-11-14

Brazilian oil giant Petrobras is feeling the impact of the global economic crisis, leading to an announcement its plans for building a refinery on Okinawa will have to be delayed a year.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company, which last spring purchased Okinawa’s Nansei Oil Company, had planned to complete research operations within the next few months and begin construction of the new oil processing facility.

Petrobras S.A., owned by the Brazilian government, had planned to open its branded Petro gasoline stations on Okinawa next year. Attributing the delays to crude oil costs being unstable, and the American sub-prime loan problems destabilizing the international marketplace, Petrobras says the refinery construction will begin in 2010, with an eye to doing business in 2012.

The first South American oil company to invest in Japan, Petrobras emphasizes the business plans are not canceled, but merely delayed. It plans to use Okinawa as a refining base, then ship the products to mainland Japan and other Asian countries for sale.

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