Tokyo Gas Co, Japan’s biggest natural gas utility, said it may build a liquefied natural gas receiving terminal in Hitachi, northeast of Tokyo, to meet projected growth from the industrial sector.
‘A company spokesman said such a move may be part of a business plan to be announced later in the day, but did not comment on the projected cost or when the facility would start operations. The investment was projected to top 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion) and the facility is likely to start operations in the latter half of the next decade. The move under consideration comes as Tokyo Gas, a major provider of natural gas to Tokyo and the surrounding regions, projects a steady shift in the industrial sector to environment-friendly natural gas from coal or fuel oil. The company’s industrial gas sales have risen an average 7 percent per year since the 2003/04 business year, and such sales has been gradually rising to account for 40 percent of all gas sales in the past two business years. Japan is the world’s top consumer of LNG — natural gas cooled to liquid form for transport on tankers.