* Kansai to buy 500,000 tpa LNG for 15 years from 2013
* Deal is in addition to existing contract worth 290,000 tpa
* Qatargas supplying Japan with 11 mln T extra LNG in short
TOKYO, Sept 26 Japanese utility Kansai Electric
Power Co said it had signed a contract with the world's
top LNG producer Qatargas on Wednesday to buy 500,000 tonnes per
year (tpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 15 years from
The deal, which is in addition to an existing contract for
290,000 tpa for 23 years from 1999 to 2021, was signed with
Qatargas 3, Japan's second-biggest utility said in a statement.
The move comes as the company has been increasing spot LNG
purchases from Qatar to fill the void of nuclear power it had
lost following the massive March 2011 earthquake and tsunami
that devastated Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima
Daiichi nuclear plant, a company spokesman said.
Kansai bought 1.79 million tonnes of Qatari LNG in the year
ended in March, accounting for 24 percent of Kansai's total LNG
imports, the spokesman said.
Qatargas said on Sept. 12 that it would supply Japan with 11
million tonnes more of LNG in the short term, in addition to 9
million tonnes announced last autumn.
Japanese utilities have been ramping up gas-fired power
generation as all but two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors remain
offline due to public concerns about atomic safety.
The deal also came after Tokyo Electric said in June that it
has signed a new contract with Qatargas to purchase 1 million
tonnes per year of LNG from August.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Michael Watson and