October 18, 2017 / 12:41 AM / 2 years ago

Japan to offer $10 billion to back Asia LNG infrastructure push

Japan's Minister of Economy,Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan August 3, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will offer $10 billion in support in joint private enterprise and government projects to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) or build LNG infrastructure in Asia, the country’s trade minister said on Wednesday.

The finance will be go toward upstream, midstream and downstream LNG projects in developing countries in Asia and other countries to help spur LNG demand, said Hiroshige Seko, speaking at the annual LNG Producer-Consumer Conference in Tokyo.

Seko also said that Japanese government and private firms would offer training, based on requests from other countries, to develop a workforce of about 500 people for projects in gas producing and consuming countries.

The initiative comes after Seko and U.S. energy secretary Rick Perry agreed in June that the two countries would work together to expand the LNG market in Asia, the minister said. Expansion of LNG markets in Asia helps create demand for U.S. LNG, which has been rising rapidly.

Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, said on Wednesday that over the next five years, about 40 pct of the world’s gas production growth will come from the United States alone.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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