Coronavirus curbs LNG demand in China, Japan and South Korea

TOKYO/SHANGHAI/SEOUL — Asian demand for liquefied natural gas, which was driving growth in the global market, is slowing after the novel coronavirus brought industrial activity in the region to a standstill.

The super-chilled natural gas, which emits less greenhouse gas than coal, has become increasingly popular over the past decade in Asian countries from China to Japan and South Korea as a fuel for use in the industrial and electricity sectors. Global demand reached 354.7 million tons in 2019, increasing 13% from the year before.

However, the global pandemic has influenced demand among major Asian importers, due to the halting

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Hidden threat: Japan has only 2-week stockpile of LNG

TOKYO — The coronavirus outbreak has raised a new risk for Japan — a potential cutoff of the crucial liquified natural gas supply that would plunge large portions of the country into darkness.

Because LNG is poorly suited for long-term storage, Japan only has a two-week stockpile. Yet, the country depends on the fuel for 40% of its electric power generation needs, and all of the LNG it uses is imported from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

To protect the resource, JERA, Japan’s largest fossil-fuel generator in which Tokyo Electric Power Holdings and Chubu Electric Power have equal stakes,

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