VLADIVOSTOK, September 9 (RIA Novosti)
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A Russian-Japanese project to build a liquefied natural gas plant in Vladivostok has great potential and will lend support to Japan as it boosts imports of LNG, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the concluding press conference of the APEC summit in Vladivostok on Sunday.
The CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, signed a memorandum on Saturday with the head of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s natural resources and energy agency, Ichiro Takahara, to move forward on the LNG project.
Most of the LNG produced at the new plant will be exported to Japan, which is consuming more gas in order to compensate for the shutdown of a number of nuclear plants following the Fukushima disaster in March 2011.
Japan consumed 83 million tons of LNG last year.
The $7 billion Vladivostok plant will have capacity to produce at least 10 million tons of LNG a year, according to Gazprom estimates. Output is scheduled to reach full capacity before the end of 2016, of which 70 percent will go to Japan and 30 percent to South Korea, Miller said previously.
A Japanese consortium of Itochu, Japex, Marubeni, Inpex and Cieco signed an agreement with Gazprom in April 2011 to prepare a joint feasibility study on construction of the LNG plant and other gas-chemical facilities in Vladivostok.
Russia’s only LNG plant currently is Sakhalin Energy’s facility on Sakhalin Island. The plant produced 10.6 million tons of LNG in 2011, of which about 70 percent was exported to Japan.
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The British experience can be instructive for Russia. London retains its British Commonwealth if it wants to use this as a foundation for integration in the future. That’s a valuable lesson for Russian experts who are calling for an end to “ineffective” associations like the CIS, the Russian World and others.