Japan’s imports of the fuel, which can be used in place of natural gas to generate electricity, rose to a four-year high in August and are expected to remain high in the coming months, Vortexa Ltd. said. Purchases by Taiwan and Bangladesh more than doubled last month from a year earlier, according to an energy intelligence firm.
Fuel oil, commonly used in marine applications, is a common choice for utility companies when gas becomes scarce. Fuel oil use has soared this year as Russia’s manipulation of gas exports has pushed gas prices to record highs. Countries such as Japan and South Korea have prioritized energy security over emissions reductions, despite their zero-emissions goals.
Japan’s fuel oil imports are “likely to remain strong in the coming months,” said Roslan Khasawneh, senior fuel oil analyst at Vortexa. “Other Asian countries with oil-fired power generation capacity, such as Taiwan, South Korea and Pakistan,” will at least maintain current import levels, he added.
In the absence of liquefied natural gas, utility companies are turning to more than fuel oil.