LNG still at the forefront of Japan’s energy future
LONDON and TOKYO -- One of Japan’s largest companies, the general trading giant and business developer Mitsui & Co., has underlined the importance of a stable liquefied natural gas supply in order to fulfil future energy demand in Japan. Chief operating officer of Energy Business Unit II of Mitsui & Co., Hirotatsu Fujiwara, commented, “LNG and gas will continue to play an important role long-term in a low-carbon global economy.” He also stated that regardless of the fact it is forecasted that renewable energy may grow at a steady 2% per year, fossil fuels, especially LNG, will continue to be a significant source for meeting energy demand even in 2040.
As the world’s largest importer of LNG – importing nearly one third of all global supplies – Japan relies on stable and trustworthy supplies of LNG. Following liberalization of its electricity market, which has led to new competition among electric utilities, Japan’s retail gas market is also planned to be liberalized in 2017, which makes this year one of the most pivotal in the country’s energy market. Major utilities such as Tokyo Gas and JERA (a JV between Tokyo Electric and Chubu Electric) are leading the way in driving new international partnerships with Asian customers seeking to drive improved terms and conditions in their fuel procurement.
These recent movements in the energy market will be discussed and debated in early April in Tokyo, when the world’s gas and LNG industries descend on Japan for the international Gastech Japan 2017 conference & exhibition – of which Mitsui & Co. are co-hosts, along with nine other major Japanese energy stakeholders including Tokyo Gas, JERA, Mitsubishi, INPEX, ITOCHU, JAPEX, JX Group, Marubeni and Sumitomo Corporation.
The event arrives in Japan for the first time in its 45-year history, during a pivotal period for Japan’s energy industry and the government’s energy policy. It will allow the world’s largest customer of LNG to host the world’s leading suppliers and industry professionals, with more than 20,000 expected to attend the exhibition and around 2,000 to attend the conference.