Russian firm Gazprom, also the world's largest extractor of natural gas, is mulling to build a gas pipeline to Japan as part of a memorandum of possible liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects expected to be signed between Russia and Japan next week.
The Russian giant company said the gas pipeline to Japan may be built after it has constructed its planned 10 million metric tonnes per year LNG plant near Vladivostok. The company is expected to commence its investment study on the project by yearend, Platts reported.
Russia and Japan are expected to sign the memorandum next week at a meeting of energy ministers of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation member countries.
In a report published by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, it said annual LNG demand in Japan has been forecast to hit 82.4 million metric tonnes in 2012, from 80.1 million metric tonnes in 2011.
The country, however, has given its go signal to slowly restart the operations of its more than 50 suspended nuclear reactors. But public perception remained skeptical on the safety of the reactors. Citing a survey published by Japan's Cabinet Office, the same report said that in summer of 2011, only 3 per cent still wanted to expand nuclear power, compared in 2009 where there was an overwhelming 59.6 per cent who supported it.
With some of Japan's nuclear power plants expected to come back online this summer, LNG demand could drop to 73.6 million metric tonnes per year by 2013, compared to 83.3 million metric tonnes per year if not restarted.
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