Japan’s Kyushu Electric forms LNG trading unit

Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power said it has formed a trading unit as it looks to meet the growing demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel.

“Toward realization of carbon-neutral society, the demand for LNG as a transition energy is
expected to increase globally in various industrial areas including bunkering and fuel conversion,” Kyushu Electric said in a statement on Wednesday.

In response to such demand growth, the utility said it has launched the new subsidiary named United Energy Supply & Trading (Quest). The firm was incorporated on April 26.

Also, Kyushu Electric appointed Takashi Mitsuyoshi as managing director and CEO of the new unit located in Fukuoka, Japan.

According to Kyushu Electric, Quest would supply LNG utilizing the company’s assets including LNG vessels and storage terminals, as well as its trading capabilities cumulated in the past, to meet various requirement from LNG customers.

In parallel, Kyushu Electric said it has transferred the function of balancing and optimization to the new subsidiary to integrate delivery scheduling and balancing in incremental demand and existing demand.

LNG-to-power and bunkering plans

Kyushu Electric and Japan’s city gas supplier Saibu Gas are partners in the 2.4 mtpa Hibiki LNG terminal located on the northernmost city on Japan’s Kyushu Island in Fukuoka prefecture.

Saibu Gas has a 90 percent stake while the utility holds the rest.

In December last year, the two firms have agreed to build a 620 MW LNG-fueled power plant at the Hibiki regasification terminal in Kitakyushu.

Kyushu Electric receives LNG supplies from projects in Australia, Indonesia, and Russia.

In addition, Kyushu Electric recently joined forces with compatriot shipping giant NYK to order one 3,500-cbm LNG bunkering vessel from Mitsubishi Shipbuilding.

The goal is to launch LNG fuel supply business for ships in Japan’s Kyushu and Setouchi regions in the spring of 2024.

This move followed an announcement in September last year. NYK said then it had signed a memorandum of understanding with fuel distributor Itochu Enex, Saibu Gas, and Kyushu Electric to form an LNG bunkering business.

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