TOKYO, April 24 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)