TOKYO, April 27 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp and Tokyo Gas Co Ltd said on Friday that they will hold talks with Dominion Resources Inc to import up to 2.3 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year for 20 years from 2017.
Tokyo has been negotiating with Washington since last year to allow more shale gas projects to export LNG to Japan, the world's top importer, which hopes to receive cost-efficient LNG via the Panama Canal as early as in 2015.
Still reeling from the Fukushima nuclear crisis that has idled all but one of its 50 reactors amid public safety concerns, Japan has rapidly increased LNG purchases, with imports growing 17.9 percent to a record 83.2 million tonnes in the fiscal year ended March 31.
Sumitomo said it had signed a preliminary agreement with Dominion Resources that would lead to the right to buy LNG produced at a 5-million-tonne-per-year gas liquefaction facility to be built by Dominion at the Cove Point project in Maryland, and that Tokyo Gas would join Sumitomo when a formal contract was signed.
What do you think will happen around the world after the next one melts down and maybe takes an urban center with it?
BTW based on a 1972 agreement clearing the original construction of Cove Point, the Sierra Club apparently has a contractual right to veto the expansion of the facility. This particular deal is unlikely to happen.