We’ve talked before about how Japan’s nuclear woes are driving global LNG prices.
With 95% of the Japanese nuclear reactor fleet idled since the Fukushima disaster, Japan has been buying all the LNG it can for power generation. Causing a noticeable lift in global pricing.
But let’s not forget Korea.
News came last week that Korea will re-start two nuclear plants that had been down for maintenance. Many investors don’t realize, but Korea’s nuclear fleet has also been decimated of late. Currently, 8 of the country’s 23 reactors are down. Many due to falsified documents discovered in May for parts at the plants.
The re-start of two will help. But it still leaves over 25% of Korean nuclear power off-line.
Combine this with Japan’s nuclear issues (and an unusually hot summer in the region) and you get “the stars aligning” for a big lift in LNG demand. But it is temporary. Observers celebrating +$15/MMbtu prices in this part of the world need to remember that.
Japan is starting the process of re-starting its nuclear sector. Korea will undoubtedly push hard to do same.
Be ready when nuclear replaces gas once again.
Here’s to those times when everything comes together,
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