Japan's Itochu, PetroVietnam Oil form JV company, Orient Bio-Fuels, to produce 100,000 kiloliters/year of ethanol from cassava beginning spring 2012 in Binh Phuoc province of southern Vietnam

TOKYO , December 6, 2010 (press release) – ITOCHU Corporation (headquarter in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) will participate in a fuel bio-ethanol production business in Binh Phuoc Province of Southern Vietnam with PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (headquarter in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Nguyen Xuan Son, CEO; hereinafter “PetroVietnam Oil”), a subsidiary of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (hereinafter “PetroVietnam”). This would be ITOCHU’s participation for the project producing fuel bio-ethanol, after similar projects in Brazil and Philippine.

ITOCHU has decided to invest in the Joint Venture Company, Orient Bio-Fuels Company Limited (hereinafter “Oriental Bio-Fuels”). The Project plans to start commercial operation from spring 2012 using cassava, a well-grown crop in the region as feedstock, aiming production of around 100,000kiloliters per year. The bio-ethanol produced by Orient Bio-Fuels is expected to be sold to the market through gas stations under PetroVietnam Oil.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (hereinafter “MOIT”) is currently formulating a legal system to introduce fuel ethanol to Vietnam. PetroVietnam, an affiliate of MOIT takes role in the actual implementation, starting trial sales of gasoline mixed with 5% ethanol (E5) from August 2010 in 5 cities in Vietnam. With a big potential demand with the population of roughly 86 million people, production and supply of gasoline mixed with ethanol is expected to accelerate to replace domestically produced gasoline.

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