Mitsui expects investment decision on Mozambique LNG project in FY2018/19

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co. is seen in Tokyo, Japan, May 10, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co Ltd expects a final investment decision (FID) on a U.S. Anadarko-led offshore liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique in the year to March 31, 2019, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

“The FID on the Mozambique Area 1 project during this financial year is in our sights,” Mitsui’s CEO Tatsuo Yasunaga told an analyst meeting.

Spending on the 2 trillion yen ($18.3 billion) project will start in the following financial year, he said.

The two-train, 12 million-tonnes-per-year project is expected to be completed in 2022-2023, and has secured more than 9 million tonnes a year in total binding and non-binding commitments from buyers, Yasunaga said.

Asked whether Mitsui will increase its 10 percent stake in the project if Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) sells its 10 percent stake, Yasunaga said many parties are interested in taking a share in the project.

“If JOGMEC decides to sell its stake, we have a basic interest (in buying), but we don’t have a plan to hold a 20 percent stake for a long time,” he said.

“Companies that are interested in joining the project are lining up,” he said, adding that Mitsui’s basic policy is to hold a 10 percent stake in the project.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Tom Hogue