Japanese official will visit Piceance

A Japanese official this month is to visit northwest Colorado’s Piceance Basin — a region that Japan hopes to tap for natural gas for its own industry and population — to discuss how best to complete the connection.

Takeshi Soda, an official with the Japanese Ministry of Economics, Trade and Industry, “has been very helpful in raising the importance of U.S. (liquefied natural gas) exports to Asia and has been instrumental in getting the LNG export issue raised among policy makers and interested policy community here in Washington and Japan,” Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese said.

Pugliese and other local officials from western Colorado visited Washington, D.C., in June to discuss the potential value of the Jordan Cove project, which would pipe natural gas from the Piceance Basin to the Oregon coast and then to Japan.

It was during one of those meetings that Pugliese said she ran into someone with connections to Soda.

“He heard about the trip and wanted to come out and understand” more about western Colorado, Pugliese said.

Soda is to meet with Pugliese, Kristi Pollard, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, and commissioners from Garfield and Rio Blanco counties.

“I think it’s important that he hears all our perspectives,” Pugliese said.

Veresen Inc., which is proposing to build an export terminal at Coos Bay in Oregon, is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve the $7.5 billion project, which includes connecting northwest Colorado to the West Coast via gas pipelines.

Details of the visit remain to be completed.


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