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Gazprom mulls Japan utilities investments

RUSSIAN gas giant Gazprom is considering investing in Japanese power utilities in a bid to expand fuel sales, including liquefied natural gas, to the world’s second-largest economy. Gazprom’s chief financial officer Andrei Kruglov told Bloomberg: “The commissioning of Russia’s first liquefied natural gas plant on Sakhalin Island and sales of the fuel to Japan gives us an opportunity for such investment in utilities, although we have no specific plans yet.” While Mr Kruglov did not identify utilities for potential investment, he said companies with the closest access to end-users of gas were attractive to Gazprom. Russia, which boast the world’s largest gas reserves, last month opened the liquefaction plant on Sakhalin Island, its first LNG export facility. The new LNG facility, part of the Sakhalin 2 project in the nation’s far east, is 160 km from the northern tip of Japan’s Hokkaido island. Gazprom is moving ahead with plans to develop 68trn cu m of potential reserves in East Siberia and on Sakhalin island to diversify its customers away from traditional European buyers into Asia, according to a company document distributed at a Tokyo press conference.

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