* Demand seen up by 12 mln T in 2011
* Japan imported 70 mln T in 2010
By Olesya Astakhova
MOSCOW, Nov 24 Japanese demand for
liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to rise by 20 million
tonnes next year in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear
disaster, a Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp company
official said on Thursday.
"Additional LNG demand will rise by 20 million tonnes in
2012 (compared to 2010) if all the reactors under inspection do
not restart their operations," Daisuke Harada, JOGMEC's deputy
general manager, told an energy conference in Moscow.
According to his presentation, Japan's demand for the frozen
gas is expected to rise by 12 million tonnes this year.
The country imported more than 70 million tonnes of LNG in
2010 from Australia, one of its biggest suppliers, as well as
from Malaysia, Indonesia and Qatar.
Japan's government is working to come up with a new energy
policy by next summer. Regardless of a new policy, utilities
should avert a power shortage next summer by replacing power
capacity from idled reactors with burning more gas and oil.
Russia has sent some additional cargoes of LNG to Japan in
the wake of the Fukushima disaster from its Gazprom-led
Sakhalin-2 project, where annual capacity stands at
around 10 million tonnes and its ability to ramp up production
Up to 60 million tonnes of new annual capacity to produce
LNG is under consideration in Russia, but Sakhalin-2 is the only
operating plant in the country.
Gazprom and its partners in the project, including Shell
, are studying plans to boost its capacity.
"We count on Sakhalin-2 in the future," Harada said.
(Reporting by Olesya Astakhova in Moscow; additional reporting
by Risa Maeda in Tokyo; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing
by Jason Neely)