By YUJI OKADA
MINATO (Bloomberg) -- Tokyo Gas Company is
seeking to take majority stakes in LNG projects in Southeast Asia or Africa
as it seeks to reduce the cost of imports.
Japans biggest gas supplier is interested in plants
that can produce as much as 3 MMmtpy of LNG,
according to Shigeru Muraki, an EVP. It can have more
operational control with a share in such mid-sized
projects, rather than large ones, he
said in an interview. By comparison, Chevrons planned
Wheatstone facility in Western Australia will have an initial
annual capacity of 8.9 MMtpy.
We can probably team up with other Japanese companies
such as JGC Corporation or Chiyoda Corporation, Muraki
said at the World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea.
Bringing down LNG
prices is a pressing issue for Japan, where the super-chilled
fuel costs four times as much as in the US, Toshimitsu Motegi,
the trade and industry minister, said in Tokyo in September.
The country paid an average $16.37/MMBtu for LNG in July,
according to data from LNG Japan Corp.
Tokyo Gas, which plans to purchase 1.4 MMtpy of LNG from the
Cove Point terminal in the US state of Maryland, is also
considering trading the fuel with buyers in Europe.
The purpose of the LNG
trade is to adjust supply and gas demand in Japan, Muraki
said. We believe we can minimize the big difference in
prices by connecting the two markets in the east and