Japan's Tohoku to buy US Cameron LNG from M'bishi

TOKYO, April 24 Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:05am EDT

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TOKYO, April 24 (Reuters) - Japanese utility Tohoku Electric Power Co said on Thursday it has signed a basic agreement to buy 300,000 tonnes per year of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 16 years from 2022 from a unit of trading house Mitsubishi Corp.

The gas will be sourced from the proposed Cameron LNG project in the United States in which Mitsubishi's venture has a 16.6 percent stake, Tohoku said, adding this will be its first purchase of LNG at U.S. Henry Hub natural gas-linked prices.

LNG imports by Japan, the world's top buyer of the super-cooled fuel, have jumped since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, with utilities looking to boost supplies from North America to diversify supply sources and lower prices.

The U.S. Energy Department in February approved exports from Sempra Energy-led Cameron LNG project as the Obama administration moves forward with its goal of expanding the global market for the fuel. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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