East Asian investment in south-east Asian LNG projects is nothing new. In the segment’s early days, Japanese conglomerates Mitsubishi and Mitsui were involved in LNG export projects in Brunei and Malaysia. Back then, the driver was that the LNG would primarily supply the Japanese market, and the projects used a considerable amount of Japanese equipment.
In recent years, the focus has shifted to LNG-to-power. And though LNG import schemes have historically progressed slowly in south-east Asia, there is now optimism that a significant number of proposed projects will be built, opening new outlets to LNG suppliers, with the help of Japanese, but now also Chinese, backing. Crucially, long-standing Asian LNG importers bring extensive expertise in the industry, which can help new project developers.