In 2009, Saudi Aramco launched an emergency relief program together with Iwatani Corporation, one of its long standing LPG customers, aiming to prepare for calamities that may occur in the future.
The fund subscribed by the two companies ensures lifelines to areas in Japan affected by large scale natural disaster, such as earthquake and typhoon, through the provision of portable LPG cooking stoves and canisters free of charge. The goods are being stored at Iwatani’s warehouses all over Japan and shall be distributed when requested by the emergency response headquarters of local government bodies.
The program was first activated only 4 hours after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. 14,112 units of LPG cooking stoves together with 85,152 LPG canisters were delivered to the people in the disaster-hit areas where all the public utilities were down.
This program was also activated in the wake of Kumamoto Earthquake (2016), Western Japan Floods (2018), Hokkaido Earthquake (2018), and the typhoons in 2019.
Saudi Aramco and Iwatani received a letter of appreciation by the Minister of State for Disaster Management in recognition of the contribution.
More than 50% of Japan’s LPG imports are consumed by households. LPG has a clear advantage in distribution to and usage by those who cope with natural disasters.