(EnergyAsia, February 23 2012, Thursday) – Chubu Electric Power Co, Japan’s third- largest utility, has agreed to buy a total of eight million metric tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from BP Plc over 16 years starting 2012.

Drawing from the global portfolio of the UK major, BP Singapore Ltd will supply an average 500,000 tons of LNG on a delivered basis to the Aichi, Japan-based company.

Neither party disclosed the sale price or contract terms.

BP owns a total of 12 millions of annual capacity from its various holdings in LNG projects in Australia, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi and Trinidad & Tobago.

Japanese utilities have substantially increased their purchase and use of LNG following the earthquake-tsunami tragedy of last March which has led to the shutdown of most of the country’s nuclear energy capacity.

After shutting down its Hamaoka nuclear plant, Chubu expects to increase its LNG import by 24% for the year ending March 2012 to 13 million tons.