The Port of Keihin (Yokohama, Tokyo and Kawasaki) is located at one end of the North Pacific trade route as a first port for loading and unloading and has direct services to ports in North America. Additionally, the port already has existing LNG bunkering infrastructure.
The nation is the world’s largest importer of LNG by a large margin. Alongside the fuel’s main use in electricity production, the country has developed marine bunkering facilities in anticipation of an uptake in the its use for shipping. Japan is also a major trading nation, and the volume of its maritime trade provides the basis for its LNG bunkering hub strategy.
There are currently 40 LNG terminals on Japan’s coasts of which four are under construction. Japan has eight secondary LNG terminals dedicated to domestic vessels. Further advantages of the location of the port of Yokohama include the presence of nearby LNG infrastructure, such as the LNG terminals Negishi and Ogijima. Another three important LNG terminals, Higashi-Ogishima, Sodegaura and Futtsu, are located in the Tokyo bay area.
The report anticipates that Japan and Singapore could become leading Asian hubs for LNG given the expected future size of the Asian market, which is estimated to reach over one trillion cubic meters by 2035. Singapore could become a bunkering hub for Southeast Asia or Europe-bound trade, and Japan would a hub for East Asia and North America-bound trade. By engaging in strategic cooperation, the countries could streamline equipment standards, qualifications required for seafarers and safety measures to facilitate the operation of LNG-fueled ships.
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