BG Group has announced it has signed an agreement with the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) aimed at supporting the long-term supply of LNG to Japan.

It is hoped the deal will create opportunities for Japanese companies to participate in energy projects around the world. Under the cooperation agreement BG Group will liaise with JBIC, a policy-based financial institution wholly owned by the Japanese government, on the group’s natural gas developments and JBIC will consider providing financial support for these projects.

The relationship is expected to help ensure Japan receives stable supplies of natural gas in the form of LNG and create opportunities for Japanese companies to participate in BG Group projects.

BG Group Chief Executive Officer, Sir Frank Chapman, said, “The cooperation agreement with JBIC demonstrates further progress in diversifying and expanding our potential sources of funding as BG Group delivers the most significant growth programme in the company’s history. It also further enhances our relationship with Japan, the world’s largest market for LNG and a major long-term customer for BG Group.”

In the past 18 months BG Group has initiated a successful treasury programme which raised $7.7 billion from capital markets, including $2.1 billion in hybrid bonds. Additionally, the group has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bank of China for up to $1.5 billion of new funding options; reached an initial agreement with Brazilian Development Bank for up to $1.8 billion of new funding; and also signed a $500 million credit agreement with Export Development Canada.

“We will continue to diversify and extend our funding sources to underpin BG Group’s plans to deliver our current investment programme,” Sir Frank said.

BG Group has demonstrated its ability over several years to assist Japanese gas and electricity companies with the prompt delivery of LNG in times of need.  In the past 12 months BG Group has delivered 61 LNG cargoes to Japan, totalling about 3.88 million tonnes.

Also, BG Group has long-term LNG supply agreements with Tokyo Gas and Chubu Electric, to be sourced from the Group’s portfolio and the Queensland Curtis LNG project in Australia, which is on track to start production in 2014.