State-owned fuel company Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) has reported the exit of its Japanese partner from the Ethanol Binh Phuoc project to make bio-fuel E5.

The company claimed that the partner has cited the slow sales of bio-fuel in the country as the reason for its withdrawal from the project.

Confirming the exit, PetroVietnam president Phung Dinh Thuc remarked that Japanese partner has sent the company a message intending to quit the project, reported VietNamNet Bridge.

"We have asked the Japanese partner to stay with the project. In case they are determined to leave, they can sell stakes to other partners, while PetroVietnam does not intend to buy more," added Thuc.

PetroVietnam currently owns 29% stake in the project.

Meanwhile, it has also stated that the E5 bio-fuel making projects in the province of Quang Nam are facing difficult challenges.

PetroVietnam has launched a line of bio-fuel projects after the federal government approved the use of E5 bio-fuel in 7 provinces and cities of Hanoi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Can Tho, Quang Ngai and Ba Ria – Vung Tau starting December 2014.

Thuc added that the sales are likely to increase after the bio-fuel usage is approved throughout the country, which is expected to begin from December 2015.