Asia Pacific News

Japan to bolster help for Asia’s shift to LNG for energy technology

This Feb. 2, 2019 file photograph exhibits Japan’s Ministry of Economic system, Commerce and Trade in Tokyo. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan will strengthen efforts to help Asian international locations’ shift from coal to liquefied pure gasoline to be used in energy technology to cut back carbon emissions, within the hope of decreasing procurement prices for the power supply, the trade ministry mentioned.

Japan, the world’s largest LNG shopper, expects elevated demand for the gas, which is much less polluting than coal, to result in better manufacturing by international locations within the area and a diversification of suppliers, the Ministry of Economic system, Commerce and Trade mentioned.

Japan is trying to broaden LNG procurement from its most important suppliers reminiscent of Australia, Qatar and the USA to incorporate extra Asian producers, which principally shouldn’t have ample infrastructure for exports.

The efforts to cut back buying prices and guarantee secure provide come because the nation confronted a depletion of LNG shares amid unseasonably chilly climate this winter.

The world’s third-largest economic system, which depends on LNG for practically 40 p.c of whole energy technology, doubled its public-private funding initiative to $20 billion in 2019 to assist Asian international locations construct LNG terminals, storage tanks and different services obligatory for shipments abroad.

LNG is generally traded below long-term contracts with costs linked to these of crude oil. Such buying and selling makes it troublesome to obtain LNG in a well timed method at costs based mostly on provide and demand circumstances.

Japan hopes extra producers and consumers would make it doable to ascertain an LNG market with versatile pricing.

Coal remains to be a serious gas supply for quickly rising economies in Southeast Asia, reminiscent of Indonesia and Vietnam, as a consequence of its affordability. However LNG produces round half the carbon dioxide emissions that coal does when burnt for energy technology.

If seven Asian international locations — India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar — shift from coal-fired to gas-powered crops, it could cut back carbon dioxide emissions by round 864 million tons, equal to 71 p.c of Japan’s annual greenhouse emissions, in keeping with ministry information.

It’s estimated such a shift would create extra LNG demand of 166 million tons, greater than double Japan’s annual imports, the info confirmed.

Japan’s imports of LNG rose sharply within the absence of nuclear energy technology following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, triggered by the devastating earthquake and tsunami within the northeast of the nation in March 2011.

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