Japan to offer energy and infrastructure assistance package to Iran

Oct 19, 2001 02:00 AM

The Japanese government will offer an energy and infrastructure assistance package to Iran as part of diplomatic efforts to strengthen ties with the country, an official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. Details are expected to be agreed on during a second round of vice-ministerial bilateral energy talks. The METI official said in the planned meeting, Hirobumi Kawano, director-general of METI's Natural Resources and Energy Agency, will meet with his counterpart, probably the top executive of National Iranian Oil or one of Iran's deputy oil ministers.

In their first-ever bilateral energy talks in August 2000, Japan and Iran agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in the energy sector. The METI official, however, couldn't confirm a Nihon Keizai Shimbun report that the Japanese assistance will include revamping an oil terminal on Kharg island and an oil refinery in central Iran and laying fibre-optic cable for monitoring oil and gas pipelines.
METI has said it is requesting a budget of Y 21.41 bn for assistance to oil producing countries for the fiscal year ending in March 2003, up 17.1 % from Y 18.29 bn this fiscal year through March 2002. Of the budget request, METI aims to spend Y 2.5 bn for feasibility studies on energy projects in producing countries, compared with Y 2.1 bn from the budget in the current fiscal year.

Iran, the second largest producer within OPEC, is the third largest oil supplier to Japan after the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Source: Dow Jones via Energy24
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