Trafigura's Puma buys into Chevron's Vietnam bitumen asset

SINGAPORE, July 18 Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:51am BST

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SINGAPORE, July 18 (Reuters) - Puma Energy International, a subsidiary of Geneva-based trader Trafigura, said it was buying a company that will give it access to Vietnam's bitumen market as it expands the business globally.

Puma is set to complete the acquisition of Chevron Kuo Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based company which owns 70 percent of Chevron Bitumen Vietnam Ltd (CBVL), it said in a statement on Wednesday. Puma did not disclose the deal value.

"Today's acquisition is the next step in our planned expansion in Asia as we become a global marketer of bitumen," Puma Energy's CEO Pierre Eladari said.

"We operate over 100,000 tonnes of bitumen storage capacity, with plans to expand the footprint to over 200,000 tonnes within five years."

CBVL, partly owned by U.S. oil company Chevron Corp, imports asphalt for road building and infrastructure developments in Vietnam, Puma said.

CBVL's Hai Phong terminal has wharf facilities with bitumen storage capacity of 5,000 tonnes and distributes the product around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Puma operates bitumen terminals in Spain, Angola and central America. The company has been on a buying spree, snapping up assets from oil companies Chevron and BP Plc as they divest downstream businesses to focus on oil and gas exploration. (Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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