TOKYO, November 4 (Itar-Tass) —— Japan considers the variant of possible construction of a 1,400-kilometre-long direct gas pipeline between Russia’s Sakhalin and Japan’s Ibaraki prefecture.
According to Japan’s Asahi daily, the Tokyo Gas company, Japan Petroleum Exploration Company Limited (JAPEX) oil company and the Nippon Steel & Sumikin Engineering construction company are already working out details of the project, the period of which implementation is estimated at about five to seven years.
Under the newspaper’s word’s, the Japanese companies are ready to invest in the creation of such a pipeline up to 400 billion yens (five billion U.S. dollars). In case of success, the cost of liquefied natural gas supplies from Russia to Japan through the pipeline will decrease manifold.
Proceeding from the project, a gas pipe with a diameter of 75 centimetres will be laid from Sakhalin to Ibaraki prefecture on the Pacific Ocean’s bed. The daily underlined that this is the first active step of Japan’s companies in this sphere over the past decade.
Japan is the world’s biggest LNG importer. In 2010, the country’s LNG purchases exceeded 70 million tonnes. After the Fukushima-1 NPP accident and the shutdown of the biggest part of nuclear reactors, Japan’s fuel demands hiked considerably. Lately, just purchases of Russia’s LNG are attaching the growing importance for Tokyo. About nine percent of Japan’s annual gas import accounts for Russia’s LNG. However, the LNG supplies by sea becomes more and more expensive for Japan. With this in mind, construction of a direct underwater gas pipeline between Russia and Japan is getting the colossal importance for Tokyo.