(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Japan's Chubu Electric Power Co. said Friday it has signed a contract with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration (KUFPEC) and its joint venture partners to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Wheatstone Project in Western Australia.
Chubu will receive one million tons per annum of LNG from the project, near Onslow in Western Australia, for a period of up to 20 years from 2017, the utility said in a statement.
US energy giant Chevron is operator and 64 percent owner of the Wheatstone Project, while Apache Energy holds 13 percent, KUFPEC seven percent, with the remainder held by Shell and Japan's Kyushu Electric.
The project will have a liquefaction capacity of 8.9 million tons per year and will begin LNG supply in 2016. "This contract will contribute to our ability to procure a stable and economical supply of LNG into the future," said Chubu in a statement.
Japan is the world's No. one LNG importer, taking in a record 87.3 million tons in 2012. The country's utilities have boosted imports of LNG for thermal power generation following the radiation accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Currently, only two of the nation's 50 workable nuclear reactors are online in the wake of the Fukushima crisis.