May 19, 2014 / 6:45 AM / 3 years ago

Japan's Tohoku to buy more LNG from US Cameron project

TOKYO, May 19 (Reuters) - Japanese utility Tohoku Electric Power Co said on Monday it would buy more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the U.S. Cameron project, increasing its purchase to 570,000 tonnes per year, using U.S. Henry Hub natural gas-linked prices.

Tohoku said it signed a basic pact with GDF Suez, which holds a 16.6 percent stake in the Cameron LNG project, to buy 270,000 tonnes per year of LNG for 20 years from 2018 or 2019.

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.

Tohoku last month signed a similar deal to buy 300,000 tpy of Cameron LNG, for 16 years from 2022, from a unit of trading house Mitsubishi Corp.

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

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