May 10, 2016 / 10:27 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Idemitsu, AltaGas suspend LNG project in Canada

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TOKYO, May 10 (Reuters) - Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co said on Tuesday its joint venture with Canada’s AltaGas would suspend a liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Canada for the foreseeable future due to low energy prices.

The two firms had conducted a feasibility study to export about 2 million tonnes per year of LNG to Asia from Canada’s west coast as early as 2017.

If the current LNG prices continue into the future, the venture would not be able to make a commitment on development, Toshiaki Sagishima, executive officer and general manager of Idemitsu Kosan’s treasury department, told reporters during a briefing on the company’s full-year earnings.

But Idemitsu left open a possibility of continuing with the project when energy prices recovered.

A consortium of companies including AltaGas and Idemitsu in February had also halted further development of the separate Douglas Channel LNG project on British Columbia’s Pacific coast in Canada citing unfavourable market conditions.

Idemitsu said it would lower its strategic investments during the business year that started on April 1 by about a third from a year earlier to 61 billion yen ($560 million) amid lower oil prices.

($1 = 108.8900 yen)

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Ed Davies

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