Australian Resource Minister Madeleine King said the supply of gas and coal to Japan will not be cut off by government measures to curb rising domestic energy prices, amid concerns that such measures would limit energy exports since resource-rich country.
Speaking in a recent interview with Kyodo News ahead of his Sunday-Thursday trip to Japan, King said that any LNG market intervention considered by the government will not affect exports and long-term contracts.
“We are determined and will ensure that such solutions do not affect the supply of gas or coal to Japan,” King said, adding that Australia is “committed to ensuring that these exports always stay on track.”
Australia was the largest gas exporter in the world in 2021, with Japan dependent on Australia for around 40% of its LNG, its main supplier.
King will meet with numerous government and business representatives during his stay in Japan, including Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura. He also wants to visit Kobe to see the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, the Suiso Frontier.
The reassurances come in the midst of a domestic gas price crisis in Australia, as the country’s old coal-fired power plants begin to fail and global spot LNG prices have skyrocketed due to the effects of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Lawmakers have called for gas market intervention to limit domestic gas price increases, such as price caps or unexpected profit taxes, as producers see record profits amid surging global demand.
The government has yet to confirm what measures are under consideration.
Australians have also been warned of an expected gas shortage on the country’s east coast next year, despite being one of the world’s largest producers of natural gas.
However, experts dismissed claims of a gas supply problem, pointing instead to Australia’s high volume of exports relative to domestic consumption.
The Australia Institute, a public policy think tank, said in June that research showed that “there are no gas supply problems in Eastern Australia, with the amount of gas consumed by Australian households and industry dwarfed.” the quantity of gas produced for export “. noting that around 80% of Australian gas is exported.
While King ruled out the imposition of gas export restrictions in 2023 after making a deal with local gas producers, he said it remains an important option for Canberra to ensure energy security in the event of a future shortage.
Despite the ongoing energy crisis, King also ruled out the possibility of introducing nuclear power into the Australian energy system, saying it is “out of the question” under the current Albanian administration.
“We do not support the introduction of nuclear power … because we have reliable energy sources that can power this country for many years to come,” King said, adding that Australia will turn to its “other great natural resources” in renewable energies such as offshore wind and solar energy, while the country moves away from fossil fuels.