MOSCOW, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Russian energy company Gazprom gave its consent to push the Vladivostok liquefied natural gas project on the east coast into the investment phase.
Gazprom said it approved of the investment rational for the LNG plant along Russia's east coast at Perevoznaya Bay.
"The plant will have three process trains with an annual capacity of 5 million tons of LNG each," the company said. "The first train will be put onstream in 2018."
Gazprom said it would set up a special-purpose company for the LNG project that will be tasked with undertaking commercial talks with potential LNG purchasers.
"New gas production centers in Sakhalin and Kamchatka are ready to operate, the Yakutia gas production center is being rapidly developed and the Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk centers are next in turn in Eastern Russia," the company said.
Gazprom in 2007 adopted a program to get more natural gas to Chinese and other Asian consumers. China's economy is expected to expand more than 8 percent this year. Japan started taking on more natural gas in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.
Gazprom provided few details about investments needed to start the east coast LNG project.