Japan Aims to Sell Massive Floating Structures to Stockpile Oil

Source:

"The Japanese government will partner with the private sector to promote exports of megafloats to stockpile oil products, starting with a possible deal with Vietnam in 2013."

The Japanese government will partner with the private sector to promote exports of megafloats to stockpile oil products, starting with a possible deal with Vietnam in 2013, the Nikkei newspaper reported Sunday.

Megafloats are massive floating structures that can be used as oil stockpiling stations or as offshore airports, among other uses, the Nikkei said.

The government will work with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, JGC Corp. and others on the deal with Vietnam, which will use the structure to stockpile oil, the Nikkei said. It plans to extend financial assistance to the Southeast Asian country via low-interest yen loans, it added.

Rising oil prices are prompting countries across Asia to stockpile oil. Hanoi plans to build up stockpiles totaling 700,000 metric tons (mt) by 2016 and an additional 1.5 million mt by 2018, the Nikkei said.

In Japan, the Shirashima oil storage station in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, uses a megafloat, the Nikkei said. More recently, a megafloat was also used to store contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power station, the Nikkei said.

Japan also aims to market its megafloats to Singapore and Indonesia, which also have plans to expand their energy related facilities, the Nikkei added.

Installing a megafloat oil station costs 20% less than building similar facilities on land, the Nikkei said. Also, because such structures do not require extensive land reclamation, their impact on the environment is much smaller, it added.

Takeo Kumagai, Platts

[email protected]

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