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Japan to sell mega floats to Asian countries

The Nikkei newspaper reported that Japan will enter into partnerships with the private sector to promote the exportation of mega floats which will stockpile oil products. Mega floats are massive floating structures which can be used for various purposes such as oil stockpiling stations and offshore airports. Vietnam is the first country on the list, and the Japanese government will work closely with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, JGC Corp. and other companies on the project in Vietnam, where the mega floats will be used to stockpile oil. The government said it will give financial assistance to other Southeast Asian countries through low-interest yen loans. Countries across Asia are beginning to stockpile oil because of rising oil prices. Hanoi is planning to build stockpiles totaling 700,000 metric tons (mt) by 2016, with an additional 1.5 million mt by 2018. In Japan, mega floats used as an oil storage station can be found in Katakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, and in the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, a mega float was used to store contaminated water. Mega floats cost 20% less to build than similar facilities on land and since they do not require land reclamation, the impact on the environment is considerably diminished. Japan is also eyeing Singapore and Indonesia as possible markets for its mega floats. (February 19, 2012)