Led by Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, the Company's delegation paid a visit today to Japan prior to the official visit of Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister to Russia scheduled for late April 2013.
The working meetings took place with Toshimitsu Motegi, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ichiro Takahara, Director General of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy under the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The parties discussed the expansion of the Russian-Japanese bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, primarily, within the projects for natural gas export to Japan. A focus of the discussions was placed on the Vladivostok-LNG project that might start supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan from 2018. In addition, the meetings addressed possible development of the bilateral cooperation in Japan's power generation sector as well as in the design and construction of a country-wide gas pipeline system meant to enhance the energy security of Japan.
The negotiating parties highlighted the successful cooperation between Gazprom and Japanese energy companies within the Sakhalin II project. In addition, special attention was paid to the prospects for increasing Russian LNG supplies to Japan.
As a part of the visit, Alexey Miller met with the heads of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Itochu Corporation, JGC Corporation, Chiyoda Corporation. A wide range of economic and technology issues, including the project for LNG plant construction near Vladivostok was addressed at the meetings with the Japanese business community.
With its scarce domestic energy resources, Japan is the world's fourth largest energy consumer. Japan purchases 100 per cent of consumed natural gas in the form of LNG and is the world's largest LNG importer.
Gazprom and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) under the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry signed the Framework Agreement of Cooperation. The document sets forth the key areas of the bilateral cooperation in the gas sector. A Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) was established to implement the Agreement. A Joint Working Group is operational within JCC. In November 2012 Gazprom and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy inked the Program for Sci-Tech Cooperation in 2012–2014.
On January 11, 2011 Gazprom and ANRE signed the Agreement of Cooperation envisaging preparation of a joint feasibility study on the options for natural gas utilization near Vladivostok as well as for natural gas and gas chemicals transportation from the Vladivostok region and their sales among potential customers in Asia-Pacific countries. Details of the LNG plant construction near Vladivostok were also specified in the Agreement.
In 2011 Gazprom together with ANRE as well as with Japanese consortium Japan Far East Gas Company conducted the preliminary feasibility study on the project of the LNG plant construction near Vladivostok.
On June 24, 2012 the Russian Federation Energy Ministry and the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry signed the Memorandum of Understanding confirming the intent of the countries' governments to provide the necessary assistance to the Vladivostok-LNG project.
On September 8, 2012 Gazprom and ANRE signed the Memorandum on the Vladivostok-LNG project. The document stipulates boosting the comprehensive cooperation in order to promote the project including its financing and gas marketing aspects. In February 2013 Gazprom adopted the final investment decision on the Vladivostok-LNG project. In March 2013 the Action Plan on constructing the LNG plant was approved together with the Plan for establishing the project's resource base.
Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) was set up in 1999 as a state financial institution for developing economic cooperation with foreign countries. Its main function is to support international economic activities of Japanese companies, in particular, their participation in investment projects related to mineral resources production.
Itochu is among Japan's largest general trading companies. It is active in oil and gas production and processing projects. Itochu is a member of the Japanese consortium as part of the Sakhalin I project.
In late 2010 Itochu became a shareholder of Japan Far East Gas Company, Japanese consortium for examining possibilities of the LNG plant construction near Vladivostok.
JGC Corporation (“Nikki”) is one of Japanese leading engineering companies specialized in building oil refineries as well as gas processing and LNG production plants.
Chiyoda Corporation is one of the largest Japanese engineering companies specialized in building industrial facilities, in particular, oil refineries, as well as LNG plants.