Media reports say that Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) has given final investment approval to build a liquified natural gas receiving terminal and storage facility at the Soma Port in Shinchi, Fukushima Prefecture to receive Canadian LNG, probably from Prince Rupert.
The company will also build a 40 kilometre connecting pipeline to move the natural gas to Japex’s main pipeline which will then connect with natural gas storage facilities in Natori in Miyagi Prefecture and another facility in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan.
The Soma port was severely damaged in the March, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.
“We want to help areas affected by the disaster to create employment and secure a stable supply of energy,” Shoichi Ishii, Japex senior managing director, was quoted by the Japanese newspaper Ashai Shimbum at a news conference on Nov. 27.
Japex owns 10 per cent of the planned Petronas LNG export terminal at Prince Rupert, which is expected to have an annual capacity of 12 million metric tons.
Japex plans to import 1.2 million tonnes of LNG made from Canadian shale gas a year starting in 2018. The construction of the new LNG terminal in Shinchi, is scheduled for completion in 2017 and will start in 2014, at a cost of $587 million US.
The reports say with LNG import facilities on both the east and west coasts, that means Japan is ensuring a stable supply of LNG. If an earthquake or tsunami hits one coast, the other would likely be spared.
Ashai Shimbum also reports that Japex is considering building at an LNG fired power plant near the planned import and storage facilities to sell power to the struggling and controversial Tokyo Electric Power Co, owner of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture that was destroyed in the March, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.
The newspaper says that because Japex does not have experience operating a thermal plant, it intends to work with other companies to run the new powerhouse.
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