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Mitsubishi Heavy Reviving LNG Tank Business as Shale Gas Booms

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., with products including ships, nuclear plants and air conditioners, has revived its business of making liquefied natural gas tanks amid the shale-gas boom in North America.

Mitsubishi Heavy, which suspended the LNG tank business after last delivering storage units in 2009, wants to win at least one order every two years to supply the containers at receiving terminals, Nobuyuki Nishioka, general manager of the company’s new LNG project management department, said in an June 17 interview.

Asian countries led by China and India are seeking LNG supplies from North America, where a boom in shale gas output has lowered prices. More than 30 countries have plans to build or expand LNG import capacity, according to Ernst & Young LLP.

Mitsubishi Heavy has supplied 53 LNG storage tanks, including those for Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass project in Louisiana and Sempra LNG’s terminal in Mexico, Nishioka said. Some customers have indicated they would buy tanks from Mitsubishi if they expand their existing terminals, he said.

Mitsubishi Heavy also wants a contract every two years to build a terminal capable of handling 4 million to 5 million metric tons a year, Nishioka said. Each contract is valued from 40 billion yen ($421 million) to 50 billion yen, he said.

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