South Korea’s top refiner SK Energy Co. is exporting its extracurricular skill of designing and operating truck stops to Vietnam.
The Korean company, which runs the biggest network of gas stations across the country, said Wednesday it signed an agreement to set up a joint venture with Saigon Newport Corp. (SNP), Vietnam’s leading terminal developer and operator, to build and operate rest stations exclusively for truck drivers.
SNP, a business unit under the Vietnam People’s Navy, holds the largest market share among Vietnam’s terminal operators, handling 50 percent of all local shipments and 90 percent of shipments in the southern region.
SK Energy and SNP will each own a 50 percent stake in the newly-formed joint entity. They aim to complete two truck stops near Ho Chi Minh by the end of next year, with plans to connect them with SNP’s port facilities in the future to spread the services across the country.
SK Energy opened Korea’s first truck stop in Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province in 2006. It has expanded its service network under the brand Netruck House and operates 19 rest stations for truck drivers, providing refueling, parking, food and other services.
“Vietnam is central to SK Group’s broader growth strategy in Southeast Asia,” said a SK Energy official. Last month, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won met with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in a show of commitment to the partnership.
By Kang Doo-soon and Kim Hyo-jin