VANCOUVER • Japan is prepared to invest billions directly in natural gas infrastructure in Western Canada as part of a plan to secure massive supplies of liquefied natural gas to replace nuclear power, a top government advisor said Thursday.
Tokyo-based Tadashi Maeda, managing executive officer of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, said Japan is ready to start discussions with private and government entities in Canada to support construction of pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals to serve the Japanese market exclusively.The plan, a new model for Japan, could intensify the race by Asian countries to lock down Western Canada’s energy resources and infrastructure, which so far has been led by China.
“The Japanese government is [prepared to make] a strategic investment for the purpose of developing a commodity market for natural gas, a more transparent and flexible market,” Mr. Maeda said on the sidelines of the Pacific Energy Summit, the platform picked by Japan to announce the plan. “So we are going to make some strategic investments to fill the gap of the infrastructure needs.
“The pipelines and export terminals are imperative. Therefore if it is needed, we are going to bring some capital to cover the cost of the infrastructure.”