Gazprom delegation visits Japan
May 12, 2009 - Today the Gazprom Management Committee Chairman Alexey Miller took part in the Russian - Japanese Economic Forum and held a number of meetings as part of the working visit of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Japan.
Addressing the Forum, Alexey Miller stated that the execution of the Sakhalin II project and the launch of Russian LNG supplies to Japan brought the cooperation of Gazprom and Japanese companies to a qualitatively new level, which, unlike in previous years, would go beyond the major joint businesses, primarily Japanese equipment, machinery and pipes supplies to Russia. Japan has obtained a new energy supply source and Russia - a fundamentally new competitive market. The Sakhalin - Khabarovsk - Vladivostok gas pipeline will be the next large-scale project that will create a favorable environment for expanding Russian natural gas deliveries to Asia-Pacific including Japan. The speaker emphasized good cooperation opportunities for creating modern gas processing and gas chemical facilities in eastern Russia and for marketing the final products in cooperation with the Japanese partners. As was noted, the availability of abundant feedstock resources in Russia, Gazprom's expertise in delivering large-scale projects and Japan's global leadership in advanced technologies opened up a bright future to joint projects. In his speech Alexey Miller highlighted the role of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency of Japan in consolidating the economic ties between Gazprom and Japanese companies (a full version is available at http://www.gazprom.com/eng/news/2009/05/36625.shtml).
Alexey Miller met with Eizo Kobayashi, President of Itochu Corporation, Yutaka Kase, President of Sojitz Corporation, Toru Ishida, Director General of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency of Japan, Hiroshi Watanabe, President of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Massami Iijima, President and CEO of Mitsui.
As part of the visit a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Japan's Natural Resources and Energy Agency under the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry, Itochu Corporation and Japan Petroleum Exploration Company (JAPEX). The Memorandum stipulates joint exploration of natural gas around Vladivostok: the follow-up transportation, marketing and/or processing of the final products to potential customers in Asia-Pacific including Japan.
As Alexey Miller noted, "after constructing the Sakhalin - Khabarovsk - Vladivostok gas pipeline and meeting the demand of domestic consumers, gas and its derivatives may be supplied from around Vladivostok to Asia-Pacific, Japan inclusive. This will enable to considerably advance our cooperation with the regional countries, supply them with extra energy resources and fortify Gazprom's positions on these new competitive markets".
With scarce domestic energy resources, Japan is the world's fourth-largest country in terms of energy consumption. The country annually consumes some 80 billion cubic meters of gas, the share of which totals nowadays 14 per cent in the national energy basket and is to be further increased. Japan imports 100 per cent of overall gas consumed in the form of LNG and is the world's top LNG importer.
Gazprom and the Natural Resources and Energy Agency under the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry of Japan signed the Framework Agreement of Cooperation in 2005.
On April 18, 2007 Gazprom and the shareholders of Sakhalin Energy (Royal Dutch Shell plc, Mitsui & Co. Ltd and Mitsubishi Corporation) being the Sakhalin II project operator signed the Purchase and Sale Agreement providing for the acquisition by Gazprom of a 50 per cent plus one share stake in Sakhalin Energy.
On February 18, 2009 the first Russian LNG plant was inaugurated as part of the Sakhalin II project.
The first tanker with Russian LNG on board arrived in Japan in April 2009
The September 3, 2007 Order by the Russian Federation Industry and Energy Ministry approved the Development Program for an integrated gas production, transportation and supply system in Eastern Siberia and the Far East, taking into account potential gas exports to China and other Asia-Pacific countries (Eastern Gas Program). Gazprom was identified by the Russian Government as the Program execution coordinator.
The Sakhalin - Khabarovsk - Vladivostok gas transmission system with its first start-up complex planned for commissioning in the third quarter of 2011 is a top priority project of the Eastern Gas Program.