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Mitsui to expand iron ore and LNG assets

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LNG Industry,

Reuters is reporting that Japan’s Mitsui & Co. has plans to expand its iron ore and LNG assets to meet growing regional demand in Asia, despite indications that the global economy is slowing, in part due to the yet ongoing US – China trade dispute.

According to Mitsui’s executive vice president, Yukio Takebe, Mitsui has recognised the weakening demand in China in some areas, however the company is determined that the trade dispute, in addition to rising tensions in the Middle East, will not limit its investments in iron ore and LNG.

Indeed, Takebe emphasised to Reuters that, “Asian economies will continue to grow for sure. The US – China trade dispute will not stop that”. Takebe also spoke of the long-term basis that Mitsui likes to operate on, rather than reactively responding to events taking place in the present.

Mitsui’s confidence in a future resurgence in demand for LNG in Asia has led the company to take two final investment decisions (FIDs) in recent months. One of the FIDs was taken on the Mozambique LNG project, and the second was on Russia’s Arctic LNG 2. The company is also reportedly planning additional FIDs for the Browse gas project (offshore northwest Australia) and Sakhalin 2 in Russia. These FIDs are planned for the early 2020s, according to Takebe.

Mitsui is certainly playing a long-game; targeting the startup of these new LNG supply projects (Mozambique and Arctic 2) to coincide with, and subsequently satisfy, a capacity shortage that is expected in 2023 – 2024. Takebe suggests that the company also has an eye on a larger deficit of LNG looming in 2035.

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