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Japan's Sendai says LNG infrastructure badly damaged

16 Mar 2011 09:32 GMT

Kyoto, 16 March (Argus) — The city gas bureau in Sendai in northern Japan has confirmed that last week's earthquake and tsunami caused serious damage to its LNG import, regasification and distribution facilities at Sendai port.

The Sendai city gas bureau is Japan's only city-owned gas retailer and imports 150,000 t/yr of LNG from Malaysia under a 20-year contract that runs until 2017. It has its own LNG terminal facility at Sendai port. The port in Miyagi prefecture was one of the worst affected by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami that devastated a large area of Japan's northeast coast.

The city gas bureau said the regasification plant has been seriously damaged and almost all its facilities at the port have been destroyed or permanently disabled because of flooding, except for its 80,000kl LNG storage tank. A gas pipeline network from the regasification plant has also been seriously damaged. The 260km gas pipeline connection between Sendai and Niigata on Japan's west coast may be less badly damaged but awaits thorough assessment by the city bureau.

The Sendai city gas bureau said it expects it will take more than one month to resume piped gas supply to its customers. It supplies 80mn m3 of piped gas to around 350,000 customers in seven municipalities near Sendai.

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