Cosmo Oil to close refinery next July

Kyodo

Cosmo Oil Co. said Tuesday it will close its oil refinery in Sakaide, Kagawa Prefecture, next July amid weakening domestic demand.

Weaker demand for oil has made it “indispensible” for Cosmo Oil to consolidate its refining operations, the company’s president, Keizo Morikawa, said at a press conference at the Sakaide refinery.

The plant will be used as an oil terminal after its refining operations are ceased, according to the company’s announcement.

The refinery began operating in 1972. Since March last year, the plant has boosted its daily output to 140,000 barrels from 110,000 barrels to meet emergency demand in disaster-hit areas.

Japanese oil companies are required to either cut back on their refining capacity of crude oil or improve the efficiency of producing gasoline, diesel oil and other value-added petroleum products by the end of March 2014 under a law put into force in 2009 to enhance their international competitiveness.