(EnergyAsia, March 30 2011, Wednesday) — ExxonMobil Japan Group said it has resumed operations at its Shiogama terminal allowing for an increase in the delivery of fuel supplies into northeastern Japan, which was struck by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
More than 26,000 people died or are missing after a 9-richter scale quake struck off the coast of northern Japan, setting of a tsunami that wiped out several coastal towns and villages.
The US major said the terminal received its first shipment of one million litres of gasoline and one million litres of kerosene, to be used for heating fuel, from the TonenGeneral Kawasaki refinery on March 22.
The company has made its terminal available for use by other shippers with ready fuel supplies for the country’s disaster-hit areas.
ExxonMobil recently fully restored operation at all four of its Japanese refineries, with each unit operating above normal to meet the country’s high demand for fuel.
Philippe Ducom, president of TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK, an ExxonMobil affiliate, said:
“The safe reopening of the Shiogama terminal restores the most critical link to the Tohoku area. The government has asked fuel suppliers to support its relief efforts in the earthquake impacted areas. We are answering that call. We are working as an industry to deliver any fuel as quickly as possible to the affected areas in need of fuel for relief efforts.
“ExxonMobil continues to maximise production of products that are urgently needed in the most impacted areas. Our 2,900 employees are working around the clock and in cooperation with the government to do everything we can to help with the response and recovery efforts.”
ExxonMobil said it has mobilised disaster assistance on other fronts:
TonenGeneral’s Kawasaki refinery cogeneration unit is maximising electrical generation to provide 33 megawatts of power to the under-supplied electricity grid, enough for about 10,000 Japanese households.
The TonenGeneral refinery in Wakayama has begun filling and shipping 1,000 drums of diesel and kerosene, normally supplied in tank trucks or rail cars, to be used by emergency vehicles, shelters and hospitals in stricken areas.
ExxonMobil said it has also donated US$1 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society to provide disaster relief assistance, and implemented a worldwide match of employee, retiree, dealer and distributor contributions, up to an additional US$2 million.