Report: scale of planned Russia-Japan LNG project doubles

The Nikkei reports that a Russian-Japanese liquefied natural gas project in Vladivostok will kick off with an eye toward producing 10 million tons of LNG a year, twice as much as initially planned.

Japan is the world’s No. 1 LNG importer, taking in roughly 70 million tons in 2010. Following the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (9501) Fukushima Daiichi power plant, demand for LNG from Japanese power utilities is expected to increase in the medium- to long term. As a result, project participants have doubled the scale of LNG production from initial plans.

A consortium comprising Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Inpex Corp. and an Itochu subsidiary have agreed with Russia’s state-run Gazprom to carry out feasibility studies for the project.

The studies on the two LNG plants, which would each be capable of producing 5 million tons of LNG a year, are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The parties will also look into the possibility of setting up compressed-natural-gas production facilities, as well as producing chemicals from natural gas and selling the output.

LNG production is slated to begin as soon as 2017, with most of the output to be shipped to Japan, with some exported to other Asian countries.

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