Japan mulls new scheme to limit town gas use amid fears of Russian LNG disruption


Steam rises from a pipe at Japan Energy Group’s Kashima oil refinery in Kamisu, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Tokyo, June 14, 2007. REUTERS/Kiyoshi Ota

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TOKYO, July 11 (Reuters) – Japan is considering a new program to reduce the use of city gas and avoid a winter power shortage, an industry ministry official said on Monday, as the There are growing fears of liquefied natural gas (LNG) disruptions. ) supplies from Russia.

The government, which already has a mechanism to ask electricity users to save energy, plans to introduce a similar system to help reduce gas consumption, the official told Reuters, confirming a Saturday’s Kyodo News Agency report on the move.

The measures could include allowing the government to ask families and businesses to conserve the city’s gas consumption without or with numerical targets, the official said, adding that it could also allow controls to restrict use during severe supply shortages.

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Discussion of the new measures will begin at a meeting of an expert group later on Monday, with the aim of making them effective before heating demand increases in winter, the official said.

Resource-poor Japan faces a historic risk to its energy security as tensions with Moscow escalate, heightening the threat of gas supply disruptions at a time of tight global supply and spot prices are skyrocketing. Read more

Even without the Russian factor, Japan faces a tight energy supply this winter.

For January, all regions except Hokkaido and Okinawa are expected to fall below the 3% electricity reserve capacity level needed to avoid potential blackouts, according to the estimate. from the ministry last month.

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Reporting by Ritsuko Shimizu, writing by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Sam Holmes

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