JAPAN DISASTER: Tohoku asks Mitsubishi for help with spot LNG

16 March 2011 11:51  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Tohoku Electric Power has asked Mitsubishi for help to secure spot cargoes of liquified natural gas (LNG) to meet a short-term energy supply shortfall, a source from Tohoku told ICIS Heren on Wednesday.

Traders speculated that Japanese trading houses Mitsubishi and Marubeni were helping Tohoku in procuring cargoes. However, a source from Tohoku said the utility had not approached Marubeni.

In the immediate term, Tohoku has enough LNG inventories to meet its power generation demand, the source said.

"We have sufficient LNG inventories to meet our immediate power demand," the source said.

Tohoku's Higashi-Dori 1.1GW Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) and Onagawa 2.17GW NPP are currently shut down, reducing 3.27GW of electricity from Tohoku's power capacity.

When asked about the possibility of time-swap deals, the source said the company has not considered using that channel to secure cargoes.

The utility's Higashi-Niigata terminal - the company's only receiving terminal located in Niigata prefecture - was not affected by the earthquake or the resulting tsunami, the source confirmed.

In a related development, a source in Indonesia confirmed to ICIS Heren that Mitsubishi has approached the producer to secure volumes for delivery to Tohoku.

A source at the country's Tangguh project also said that additional volumes are likely to be sent to Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) as well.

Tohoku is the fifth-largest Japanese electric utility company, servicing residential, commercial and industrial customers in six prefectures in the Tohoku region, including Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures, areas that were significantly affected by Friday's earthquake.

Click here for latest news on the Japan disaster

By: Leslie Tan

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