Feb 2 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), Japan's largest consumer of liquefied natural gas, plans to procure 800,000 tons of LNG a year from the United States through Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsui & Co from about 2017, the Nikkei reported.
Mitsubishi and Mitsui are in negotiations with Cameron LNG, an affiliate of U.S. power and gas concern Sempra Energy , to outsource liquefaction operations for North American shale gas, the business daily said.
Each trading house will target 4 million tons a year in U.S. LNG exports to Japan and elsewhere from a Cameron LNG terminal in Louisiana and allot 400,000 tons to Tepco, the Nikkei said.
The firms are working out the details of the proposed arrangement and will sign a basic agreement soon. Tepco might consider investing more than 20 billion yen ($216 million) to build dedicated tanks for the LNG, the daily reported.
Tepco, which procured 24.09 million tons in fiscal 2011, unveiled plans last year to eventually buy up to 10 million tons of LNG a year from North America and elsewhere as a way of tamping down expenses, the Nikkei said.
The company plans to diversify LNG procurement by turning to Canada, South America and other regions, the daily reported.