Japan’s traders prepare for US shale gas

Japanese firms are preparing to import shale gas from the United States to ease huge price rises. The trading firm Sumitomo Corp is going to buy 2.3million tonnes of liquefied […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Japanese firms are preparing to import shale gas from the United States to ease huge price rises.

The trading firm Sumitomo Corp is going to buy 2.3million tonnes of liquefied natural gas from the US every year to sell to two large Japanese firms, it said yesterday.

The firm will buy gas from the Cove Point LNG terminal in Maryland on the US east coast, to sell to Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) and Tokyo Gas Company.

Japan has struggled to fill the gap left by nuclear power after the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011. A public outcry forced the nation’s 50 nuclear plants to close and so far only two have re-opened.

The imports could begin from 2017 but depend on approval from Washington as the two countries don’t have a free trade agreement, the news agency Reuters reported yesterday.