TOKYO Aug 7 Japanese partners in the Cameron
liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the U.S. state of
Louisiana said on Thursday the project has received final
investment approval and lined up $7.4 billion in financing.
The move brings Japan a step closer to importing significant
amounts of LNG from the United States, which government
officials and buyers believe will reduce costs for electricity
generation in Japan, which have surged with the country's
nuclear power industry idled after the Fukushima disaster.
Cameron, Sabine Pass and more than two dozen other projects
are in a race to sell relatively cheap, abundant U.S. shale gas
to foreign countries where it can fetch higher prices.
LNG on the spot market in Asia LNG-AS trades at about
$10.50 per mmBtu, while in the U.S. benchmark gas prices are
trading at just under $4 per mmBtu, though that price doesn't
take into account liquefaction and shipping costs.
Cameron LNG is controlled by U.S.-based Sempra,
which has a 50.2 percent, while Japan's Mitsui & Co has
a 16.6 percent stake. Mitsubishi Corp and Nippon Yusen
KK together hold another 16.6 percent, with GDF Suez SA
holding the remainder.
The $7.4 billion financing will be obtained from the Japan
Bank for International Cooperation, Nippon Export and Investment
Insurance and a group of commercial banks, Mitsui said in a
The $10 billion project received the green light in June
from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to construct
and operate three-train gas liquefaction facilities with total
capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum.
The project has obtained the U.S. Department of Energy's
conditional approval to export LNG to countries with which the
United States does not have free trade agreements, like India
and Japan. Final approval is expected later this year.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Aaron Sheldrick and