With its nuclear fleet’s uncertain future, the world’s largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Japan, is turning toward natural gas as its power generation fuel of choice for the mid-term.

In an effort to encourage development among small-size power producers, Japan is considering a new pipeline project reaching from Sendai in the tsunami-blasted northeastern region of the main island, Honshu, to the northern end of Kyushu, which lies off the most southwestern tip of Honshu.

While the route has not been decided, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) has already announced that it intends to import LNG from the American market, where prices are much lower than in Japan.

Meanwhile, in America, natural gas prices received a boost after Cheniere Energy announced it expects to receive $3.4 billion in financing for a liquefied-natural-gas export facility.

The export facility would have the potential to help ease the country’s current glut of natural gas by allowing natural gas producers to ship the fuel overseas.