Tokyo Gas has unveiled the world’s largest underground liquefied natural gas storage tank to media. In Japan, demand for the resource has been rising as most of the country’s nuclear power stations were shut down after the 2011 disaster.
The utility began building the tank four years ago in Yokohama City, near Tokyo.
It measures 72 meters in diameter and is nearly 62 meters deep. The tank can store up to 250,000 kiloliters, enough to meet the average annual needs of about 360,000 households.
To prevent leaks, the tank’s interior is covered by 2-millimeter-thick stainless steel plates.
Japan Petroleum Exploration, aiming to diversify its energy sources, has agreed to buy a 10-per-cent stake in a liquefied natural gas project planned in British Columbia from Progress Energy Canada Ltd.
Japex, as it’s known, will also acquire a 10-per-cent interest in the North Montney natural gas play in northeastern British Columbia from Progress, which was acquired by Malaysian state-owned energy company Petronas late last year.
“Japex believes that importing natural gas as LNG from Canada, which has ample reserves, will help diversify Japan’s LNG import, contributing to improved energy supply of Japan,” Japex said in a statement Monday.
Export ambitions of Australia’s rapidly growing gas sector have taken another hit in a matter of days, with reports from the US that Shell has won approval to export gas to Japan, which does not have a Free Trade Agreement with the US.
The Washington-datelined report, in the Nihon Keizai newspaper, says Shell intends to export as much as 800,000 tonnes annually of liquified natural gas to Tokyo Electric Power Co.
This comes a matter of days after both the Canadian government and the US Department of Energy gave approvals for export gas projects in British Columbia and Texas, respectively.
North Asia is the largest importer of gas, globally, and it has become increasingly aggressive in seeking to force gas prices lower.