GDF Suez has signed a deal with Japanese utility Tohoku Electric Power to deliver 270,000mtpy of LNG over a 20-year period starting in 2018 from the planned Cameron LNG plant in the US, the French company said yesterday (Monday 19th May).

This marks GDF Suez’s first long-term LNG sales agreement with a Japanese firm.

The deal shows the “emergence of US LNG contributing to Japan’s energy supply, thanks to the benefit of the shale gas revolution in America,” the company said.

Sempra Energy holds a majority 50.2% stake in the proposed Cameron LNG project, which is to be completed by 2017. GDF Suez has a 16.6% equity stake in the liquefaction project, providing it with an export capacity of 4 million mtpy.

Other partners are Japan’s Mitsui (16.6%) and Japan LNG Investment LLC (16.6%), which is a joint venture between Mitsubishi Corp. and shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha.

The agreement with GDF Suez is Tohoku Electric Power’s second agreement to buy LNG from the proposed Cameron project. In April, the utility reached a basic agreement with Diamond Gas International — Mitsubishi’s wholly owned subsidiary — to buy 300,000mtpy for 16 years from 2022.

The Cameron LNG export project has received conditional approvals from the US Department of Energy and partial agreement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and is likely to be firmly approved this year.

GDF Suez has earlier in March, signed a 20-year supply agreement with Taiwan’s state-owned CPC Corp. to supply 800,000mtpy from the planned Cameron project starting in 2018.

GDF Suez is one of the world’s largest LNG suppliers and has a supply portfolio of 16 million mtpy. It controls a fleet of 14 LNG carriers under mid- and long-term charter agreements.