Tightened safety rules and maintenance of Japan's two operational reactors could lead to a complete nuclear shutdown by summer for the second time since the Fukushima disaster in March 2011. Power producers, required to avert power shortages, are hard-pressed to import even more highly priced LNG to fuel backup gas-fired power plants, analysts warn.
Despite the quest of the Chinese government to fast-track developing domestic shale gas reserves to underpin new gas-fired power plant projects, analysts stay sceptical.
"We remain cautious about the potential of shale gas in China," says Gavin Thompson, Principal Consultant, Asia Pacific Gas & Power at Wood Mackenzie. "The proven reserves in China are incredibly low, most of the terrain is very rough and challenging and the companies involved are inexperienced in terms of technological expertise in extracting gas," he told Gas to Power Journal by phone from Beijing today.