Japan’s domestic natural gas supplies will fall for the third consecutive year in fiscal 2019, which starts on April 1. This downturn will come as some nuclear reactors have been brought back online, the nation’s top energy think-tank, the Institute of Energy Economics Japan (IEE Japan), predicted in a new report.
According to the government-affiliated Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEE Japan), LNG supplies will total 82.3 million tonnes in fiscal 2018, down 3.9% from a year earlier, and 82 million tonnes in fiscal 2019, down 0.3% year on year.
This is down from 85.6 million tonnes of LNG in fiscal 2017, which was a decline of 2.8% from fiscal 2016.
The shift from fossil fuels to nuclear and renewable energy will continue in fiscal 2019, although at a somewhat slower pace, IEE Japan said.
IEE Japan’s estimates assume Japanese GDP will grow 0.9% in fiscal 2018 and 0.8% in fiscal 2019. Japan’s real GDP expanded 1.9% in fiscal 2017.
In the base-case scenario, Japan’s nuclear power generation will rise from 31.3 billion kWh in fiscal 2017 to 61.2 billion kWh in fiscal 2018 and 65.4 billion kWh in fiscal 2019.
Japan remains the world’s largest importer of LNG. China has climbed to second place, importing around 54 million tonnes in 2018.
Demand for LNG rose sharply in Japan as an alternative fuel to nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Demand for LNG has declined considerably from its peak as some nuclear reactors have been brought back online. Japan’s LNG imports in the first half of fiscal 2018 decreased 1.7% from a year earlier to 38.225 million tonnes.