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MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) - 16/02/2013

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(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Japanese government plans to provide a guarantee of JPY 1 trillion (USD 10.8 billion) in loans for projects to procuring shale gas and other lower-cost energy sources, Economy and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Friday.

"Costs for imported fuel for power generation have inflated as most nuclear reactors remain offline in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Reducing fuel costs is an urgent issue," Motegi told a press conference, stressing that the government and the private sector should secure cheaper liquefied natural gas (LNG).

"The international gas markets are immature unlike crude oil markets and gas prices differ from region to region. There is room to cut import prices of LNG," Motegi said.

The loan guarantee program, to be offered through Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., will give preferential treatment to projects that generate lower-cost energy supplies., such as the US shale gas and the construction of plants overseas, the minister said. Japan is the world's largest LNG importer by volume.

The country's utilities have boosted imports of LNG for thermal power generation following the radiation accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Currently, only two of the nation's 50 workable nuclear reactors are online in the wake of the Fukushima crisis.

 






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