With the selection of Tokyo as host of the 2020 Olympic Games not only is this a fillip for Japan’s sporting aspirations, it is also set to provide a spike in industrial gas demand in the country.

According to The Gas Review (TGR), reconstruction of the existing athletic facilities is expected to be undertaken, as well as all elements of the Tokyo metropolitan area’s infrastructure – including the highway system, the sewerage system, electric cabling and gas piping.

There will be a number of specific construction projects in connection with the Olympics, from the reconstruction of the National Stadium to the construction of the official Olympic Village. There will also be an expansion of the subway and direct lines added to connect Narita Airport with both central Tokyo and Haneda Airport, in addition to other expansions of local airport activities.

With this infrastructure redevelopment, a demand for gas and welding materials is anticipated.

First and foremost, TGR notes, hopes are placed on all items related to steel frames and materials, with the core source for steel bars and Type H steel being electric furnace steel, which is produced in Japan. While operational ratios of the electric furnace facilities are currently sluggish, it is thought that this will improve with these infrastructure projects and the ongoing recovery from the great Japan earthquake.

It is projected that the operational ratios of oxygen PSA units should rise, which will in turn lead to the replacement of onsite facilities and the expansion of existing facilities in the region. Further, an increase in demand for liquid oxygen as a back-up is expected.

Gases and welding materials for cutting and welding purposes, including acetylene, carbon dioxide and argon, and liquid nitrogen for concrete cleaning, resistance and quality are also cited as just some of the examples of the many areas in which the demand for industrial and specialty gas products are expected to rise.