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Energy-Related Emissions Hit a Record High Last Year Despite Renewables Surge

Japan's Efforts To Reduce Its Reliance On LNG

1. Exxon Sees Future in Chinese Petrochemicals

Despite a dramatic worsening in the US-Chinese relationship in the past years, US oil major ExxonMobil is betting big on Chinese petrochemicals demand, even if avoiding the limelight of media scrutiny.

Exxon's $10 billion Huizhou plant, boasting the largest capacity among petchem projects being currently developed in the Asian country, will produce 1.6 mtpa of ethylene once commissioned.

In its proprietary energy outlook, the US firm expects demand for chemicals to increase by 42% between 2017 and 2030, with core refined products such as gasoline and diesel stagnating.

The petrochemical plant, also called "China 1", should cater to domestic needs and is slated for start-up in 2025, with market rumors indicating overall production capacity could be quickly boosted if ExxonMobil wants to.

2. Japan Keeps Out of LNG Market

Japanese monthly imports of LNG have dropped to the lowest since at least 2022 in May, reflecting the government's drive to bring back nuclear energy and consume less power.

According to Kpler data, Japan only imported 4.15 million tons of LNG with almost half of it coming from Australia, followed by Malaysia and Russia, a 30% decline year-on-year.

As the Japanese government appealed to households to conserve energy and not to stretch the power grid, power consumption fell to May 2020 levels, which was the peak of the first wave of Covid in the country.

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