HANOI (AFP) — Vietnam on Monday launched a locally made ethanol-blended gasoline with the view to “ensure national energy security and reduce the economy’s dependence on oil products”, said oil giant PetroVietnam.
Gasohol E5, which is five percent ethanol and 95 percent gasoline, was produced at an 80-million-dollar chemi-biological plant in northern Phu Tho province using ethanol alcohol imported from Brazil and homegrown sugarcane and cassava, the group said.
After pilot sales in Hanoi, PetroVietnam plans to send the new product to other major cities including Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho in the south.
The state-run company, which is planning to build another plant with a capacity of 100,000 cubic metres in central Binh Dinh province, said Gasohol E5 would also help ¨the protection of the global environment¨.
Each year, communist Vietnam imports between 12 and 14 million tons of various types of fuel for its 86 million people and demand is forecast to increase by between 10 and 15 percent a year, PetroVietnam said.
The country has vast offshore oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea but lacks a functioning refinery and has to import its refined petroleum products.