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Monday, February 19 2018 @ 12:44 AM AKST

Governor Draws Praise From Energy Executives

EnergySeptember 17, 2015 TOKYO—Governor Bill Walker on Thursday continued to expound upon the benefits of Alaska’s liquefied natural gas potential in meetings with Japan’s top energy executives and officials, who had all attended Wednesday’s LNG Producer-Consumer Conference opening ceremony.

“When it comes to trade, Japan and Korea are our closest neighbors,” Governor Walker said. “Their populations provide the large consumer base Alaska needs to export our abundant supply of natural gas.”

Governor Walker and his team met with the president of JERA Co., Inc., which was established in April when Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power companies formed a joint marketing venture to focus on developing new energy upstream investments and fuel procurement.

“I was touched and impressed by your enthusiasm and passion for Alaska,” said JERA President Yuji Kakimi of Governor Walker’s Wednesday speech at the LNG Producer-Consumer Conference. “Alaska seems like a promising candidate for sourcing LNG.”

Governor Walker and his team also met with the chairman and president of LNG Japan Corporation, an energy trading house.

“After the Great East Japan Earthquake, the role of LNG has become even more important to supply the power demand of our country,” said LNG Japan Corporation President Norikazu Onishi. “Japanese companies have the capacity to purchase from the United States.”

Mitsui & Company executives told Governor Walker, Department of Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner Marty Rutherford and Alaska Gas Team General Manager Audie Setters of the LNG export terminal they and a consortium of companies built in Cameron, Louisiana.

“But exporting LNG from the Gulf Coast to East Asia takes up to 26 days,” said Naoshi Kanzaki, Mitsui’s General Manager of Natural Gas. “It would be a much shorter time to export from Alaska.”

Governor Walker told Mitsui executives shipping LNG from Alaska to Japan would take seven days.

Governor Walker and his team also met with top executives of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), a public financial institution that provides energy investment funding for Japanese companies.

“I’m confident your passion for Alaska will produce a project,” said JBIC Chief Operating Officer Koichi Yajima, who had also heard Governor Walker’s Wednesday speech. “Alaska can be a stable provider of LNG for Japan.”

Governor Walker also met in Tokyo with ExxonMobil executives: Rob Franklin, President of Gas & Power Marketing; Stephen Wong, President of Greater China/Japan Gas Marketing; and Tetsuro Takano, General Manager of LNG Market Development in Japan. Governor Walker also met with Hiroshi Imura, ConocoPhillips Japan President and Yoshiaki Nakazato, President of Sumitomo Metal Mining, which owns Pogo Gold Mine in Alaska.

Governor Walker and his team will wrap up their weeklong series of meetings Friday with Hyogo Governor Toshizo Ido and top executives of Osaka Gas and Kansai Electric Power Company. He and his team will also tour Osaka Gas Senboku LNG Terminal.

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