TOKYO — The Japanese government will unveil a $10 billion public-private initiative aimed at tapping increasing demand for liquefied natural gas infrastructure as the fuel is increasingly adopted throughout Asia.
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance will be among the players in the effort to enlist Japanese companies in investment plans to build such LNG infrastructure as offloading terminals and power plants.
Hiroshige Seko, minister of economy, trade and industry, will announce the initiative here Wednesday at the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference. Top officials, including the prime minister and other cabinet members, would be involved in promoting particular projects to nations in the region.
The effort is also designed to strengthen Japanese-U.S. ties. Shale gas production has taken off in the U.S., and finding customers for the fuel has become an issue. An agreement to expand American shale gas exports to Asia is expected at the U.S.-Japan economic dialogue meeting on Monday in Washington, and the Japanese LNG infrastructure initiative is likely to be part of achieving that goal.
One factor that has constrained the growth of the LNG market is contracts that have clauses banning resale of the fuel. Japan and India are to sign an LNG cooperation agreement Wednesday and will move together to make LNG supply contracts more flexible.