Japanese firms plan pilot GTL plant

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 -- Six Japanese firms have announced plans to jointly establish a research entity and build a test plant for the production of gas-to-liquid fuel with an eye toward potential international development.

The six firms—Nippon Oil Corp., Inpex Holdings Inc., Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Cosmo Oil Co., Nippon Steel Engineering Co., and Chiyoda Corp.—said they would begin by setting up a research organization later this month.

The group also said it hopes to finish construction of a test plant in Japan during fiscal 2008, and will conduct joint research through fiscal 2010. The test facility, to be built in Niigata Prefecture, is due to produce 500 b/d of synthetic oil.

The consortium plans to conduct tests jointly with Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp., aiming to study the potential for the construction of plants overseas. The group did not say when such construction might begin.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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