Japan marks 50 years LNG imports milestone

Mitsubishi Corporation is set to mark 50 years of LNG imports into Japan on November 4. 

The company noted in its statement on Friday, November 1, that Tokyo Electric Power Company (now JERA) and Tokyo Gas, through Mitsubishi Corporation (Mitsubishi) acting as a buyer’s agent, started receiving LNG in 1969 from the Alaska LNG project with Phillips Petroleum (now ConocoPhillips) as a seller.

Demand for LNG and natural gas is expected to further increase globally, especially in emerging countries. The role of LNG and natural gas is expected to expand further in the next half-century, such as utilization by LNG fired power plants to compliment power supply fluctuations of renewables which are rapidly growing throughout the world.

Commenting on the milestone, Toshihiro Sano, chairman of JERA said, “Since its beginnings with the Minami-Yokohama thermal power station, LNG thermal power generation in Japan has steadily expanded thanks to the supports of local residents and other parties involved, and today plays an indispensable role in supplying the nation’s electricity.”

Sano added that with rising demand for LNG in emerging economies and its anticipated utilization in new areas such as transportation, the importance of LNG is expected to grow further in the future.

Tokyo Gas president Takashi Uchida, noted that in order to pave the way for “the next 50 years” as responses to climate change are now being demanded globally, Tokyo Gas aims to take on new challenges such as further extensive utilization of natural gas and reduction of CO2 emissions through the combination of LNG and renewable energy.