|A ship carrying liquefied natural gas arrives at a pier near a power station of JERA Co. in Kawagoe in the central Japanese prefecture of Mie on Jan. 23, 2020. The shipment marked the first delivery to Japan of LNG under the Freeport LNG Project in Texas, in which JERA and Osaka Gas Co. have taken part. (Photo by=Kyodo)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Japan will strengthen efforts to support Asian countries' shift from coal to liquefied natural gas for use in power generation to reduce carbon emissions, in the hope of lowering procurement costs for the energy source, the industry ministry said.
Kyodo reported that Japan, the world's largest LNG consumer, expects increased demand for fuel, which is less polluting than coal, to lead to greater production by countries in the region and diversification of suppliers, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry said. Japan wants to broaden LNG procurement from its main suppliers such as Australia, Qatar, and the United States to include more Asian producers, which mostly do not have sufficient infrastructure for exports.
The efforts to reduce purchasing costs and ensure stable supply come as the country faced depletion of LNG stocks amid unseasonably cold weather this winter. The country which relies on LNG for nearly 40 percent of total power generation, doubled its public-private investment initiative to $20 billion in 2019 to help Asian countries build LNG terminals, storage tanks, and other facilities necessary for shipments overseas. Japan hopes more producers and buyers would make it possible to establish an LNG market with flexible pricing.