Question: Why is Gastech so important to Japan?
Answer: Japan started to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 1969. Since then, Japan has been the world’s largest importer of LNG and is still playing a key role in the development of the LNG industry. Also, Japan is currently undertaking a far-reaching deregulation of both its gas and electricity markets. This could bring great challenges and possibilities for the future growth not only to Japanese companies, but also to all the participants in LNG industries. Therefore, I believe that it is an ideal opportunity for Japan to experience this prestigious international event to bring together the knowledge of various stakeholders in the industry to discuss the future of gas and LNG at this time.
Q: What does the future for gas and LNG look like in Japan?
A: Japan currently accounts for a third of the total LNG trading volume across the world. Deregulation of the gas and electricity markets, the restarting of nuclear power stations and the development of new coal-fired power stations, as well as the development of renewable energy sources, may have a massive effect on LNG demand in Japan.
To respond to these uncertainties, I think that increasing liquidity and securing transparency of prices will be more important than ever before.
Q: What impact could the development of battery and fuel cell technology have on the energy landscape? How can natural gas play a role?
A: Development of battery and fuel cell technology will give a great impact especially on energy demand for automobiles. Also, natural gas will play an important role as adjustment of frequent demand fluctuations of renewables. So I expect natural gas will play an important role in expanding batteries and fuel cells.
Q: Do gas and LNG have a major long-term role to play in a low-carbon global economy, or will renewable energies eventually supply all of our energy needs?
A: Yes, I think that gas and LNG will play a major long-term role in a low-carbon global economy. But to do so, the gas and LNG industry as a whole should overcome the weak point of LNG such as high prices and low liquidity compared to coal.
Also, I think that renewables cannot supply all of our energy demands, so gas-fired thermal power generation will play a major role in adjusting the frequent supply fluctuation of renewables.
Q: Could you give us an update into your key international gas and LNG projects?
A: I think it is important to develop LNG projects at an appropriate time to meet the increased LNG demand in the future while overcoming the weakness of LNG especially the high prices and low liquidity.
JERA, as the world’s biggest buyer of LNG, would like to support innovative LNG projects that are taking aggressive measures such as pass-breaking technologies in the field of production and transportation; and commercialization of the LNG market.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve at Gastech 2017?
A: Gastech offers a valuable opportunity for stakeholders of the gas and LNG industry from all over the world to convene in one place. As for JERA, we would like to hold many meetings to exchange information at all levels from management to staff engaged in the LNG business to update the situation surrounding the LNG business.
Q: Who are you most interested in meeting at Gastech?
A: Many stakeholders within the industry are gathering at Gastech, therefore, we think that Gastech is the perfect communication platform. We are interested in meeting with various industry players who have strong aspirations to make LNG rich in liquidity and strong in price competitiveness for the future growth of the industry.
This is the first time for JERA to set up our own booth at an international event since our establishment in April 2015. So, we will heartily welcome your visit to our booth.”
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