Following the Fukushima disaster in 2011 the Japanese people lost all faith in nuclear power and revolted against the industry. with no firm plan for restarting the nuclear reactors, the country has had to look to other sources of energy to accommodate for the 30 percent of total generation capacity that the nuclear energy used to provide.
LNG was one of the energy sources that will be expected to fill a large share of the gap left by nuclear power, and Japan’s top shipping companies are prepared to place orders for an estimated 90 new liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers by 2020, to meet the rising demand. The shipping vessel investment is estimated to have a total value of 1.8 trillion yen ($17.61 billion).
Fueled by demand from China and South Korea, the amount of LNG traded (globally) is expected to increase to 400 million tonnes a year by 2020, up from 250 million tonnes last year; and Japanese shipping companies want to prepare for the expected rise in demand in Asia. In doing so, it has been reported that Nippon Yusen KK, the largest shipper in Japan, is set to increase its LNG tanker fleet to 100 from about 70; Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd., the second largest shipping company in the country, will increase its LNG fleet to 110 from a current size of 70; and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. plans to buy 20 new LNG tankers before 2020.