TOKYO, April 1 Japan's second-biggest utility,
Kansai Electric Power Co, said it had signed a 20-year
contract to buy 400,000 tonnes per year of U.S. Cameron
liquefied natural gas (LNG) from trader Mitsui & Co at
U.S. Henry Hub-linked prices.
The Osaka-based firm said it would buy for 20 years from the
project's planned launch, scheduled for late 2017.
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 deal marks Kansai's second purchase of U.S. shale gas.
It has agreed to buy 800,000 tonnes per year from the U.S. Cove
Point export plant in Maryland.
The U.S. Energy Department in February approved exports from
Sempra Energy's 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 Joseph Radford)