Japan may have lost its position as the biggest LNG importer to China, but opportunities in Vietnam showcase how the country will likely retain its leading role in the industry.
Over the past year, several Japanese firms signed deals cumulatively worth close to $9 billion to invest in Vietnam’s LNG and LNG-to-power sector.
As well as providing technology and financing for gas-based energy systems in a region where coal is still king, Japan is playing a pivotal geopolitical role in helping Vietnam and other Southeast Asian economies offset China’s growing hegemony.
Ideally, Vietnam would rely on local gas fields and spend less on the billion-dollar LNG infrastructure it’s currently planning. However, due to territorial conflicts, the full rollout of LNG could help Vietnam avoid regional tensions while building energy ties with Japan and other allies based on shared security needs.
The big naval standoff over gas
As of today, Vietnam has no LNG infrastructure in operation. Even though the country relies on natural gas for about 1/6th of its energy mix, supply has traditionally come from ….