Gastech 2017: Japanese gas consumption hit record levels last month, when usage in Tokyo topped 60 million m³, according to Tokyo Gas, despite the forecast drop in national demand for natural gas due to the shift in the balance of energy consumption.
Over the last two years, Japan has imported around 88 million tonnes (mt) of LNG, but government calculations expect this to fall to 60 million tonnes by 2030. This has prompted a growing number of Japanese businesses to diversify to ensure continued growth.
One of the country’s largest LNG buyers, Tokyo Gas plans to expand its global presence. It has announced several international projects, including an exchange agreement to reduce shipping times and costs, and signing a memorandum of understanding with PT Miura Indonesia to establish a strategy to supply the country’s industrial and commercial customers.
“With the global energy sector moving towards a greener future supported by the Paris Agreement in 2016, I strongly believe LNG will continue to play a significant role in Japan’s future,” Tokyo Gas executive adviser Shigeru Muraki told Gastech News.
Although Japan is stepping up its generation of renewable energy, it is not yet clear how the grid system will accommodate the influx and ensure more reliable supply. This, Tokyo Gas argues, will ensure that natural gas remains a major source of energy in Japan, offsetting fluctuating supply of renewables.
“Oil will peak by 2030, and demand for natural gas will increase in the next two decades because of new markets and new sources of energy,” Mr Muraki said. “Governments will veer away from the installation of new coal fire power stations as they will be very difficult to maintain both financially and politically, especially in light of the push to end global warming.”