TOKYO Feb 27 Japan's Osaka Gas Co and
Chubu Electric Power Co said on Thursday each plans to
invest about $600 million for individual stakes of 25 percent in
a gas export facility at the Freeport LNG gas project in Texas.
Osaka Gas and Chubu Electric will take the shares in the
gas liquefaction facility of the first train of the project,
construction of which is set to begin on in the first half of
2014, from a Freeport subsidiary.
Output from Freeport's first train, which is expected to
start in 2018, has already been sold to Osaka Gas and Chubu
Electric. The Freeport project, located just south of Houston,
got the conditional approval to export last May.
The U.S. Department of Energy in November conditionally
approved more exports of LNG from Freeport, a move that could
help boost shipments of the super cooled fuel in coming years.
The United States is producing record amounts of natural
gas, thanks to a drilling boom, and is moving to become a major
export hub by pitching ahead of rivals in Australia and East
Africa for Asian buyers even before projects begin construction.