Japan could boost LNG imports 10% this year
(Reuters; June 7) - Japan's LNG buyers will need to import as much as 4.4 trillion cubic feet of gas this fiscal year (averaging 12 billion cubic feet a day), up nearly 10 percent from 2011, to generate the power needed to compensate for offline nuclear reactors, the chairman of the Japan Gas Association said June 7.
That demand prediction for imported LNG assumes all of the nation's nuclear power plants remain shut down, said Mitsunori Torihara, chairman of the Japan Gas Association. "At the moment I have to say we are quite uncertain how many nuclear power plants will be able to be restarted." All of Japan's nuclear plants remain out of service, pending government decisions. The plants closed after last year's earthquake and tsunami caused the nation to re-examine the safety of nuclear energy.
Nuclear power supplied nearly 30 percent of Japan's electricity needs prior to the tsunami. The government is pushing for restarts but the process has been slow as the central government struggles to win public support.