Japan, Russia to build liquid natural gas plant: report

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Japan and Russia are to jointly build a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant in the Russian port of Vladivostok, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Saturday.

The Japanese side, led by the trade and industry ministry as well as major trading house Itochu, is expected to sign an accord with Russian gas giant Gazprom later this month to begin feasibility studies, the daily said.

The plant is set to come online in 2017 with an annual production capacity of more than five million tonnes of LNG, it said, adding that total investment in the project is estimated at several billion dollars.

The two sides also plan to build a chemical plant there, the Yomiuri said.

The report comes despite a bitter diplomatic row between Moscow and Tokyo over the Russian-controlled Kuril islands, known as the Northern Territories in Japan.

The territorial spat flared up last month when President Dmitry Medvedev made the first trip by a Russian leader to one of four Pacific islands claimed both by Moscow and Tokyo.

The dispute has prevented the signing of a post-World War II peace treaty between Tokyo and Moscow and held up the deepening of economic ties.

© 2010 AFP

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