(EnergyAsia, October 4 2012, Thursday) — UK’s BG Group said it has secured the support of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for the long-term supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan as well as create opportunities for Japanese companies to participate in energy projects around the world.

Under the cooperation agreement, BG Group said it will liaise with JBIC, a policy-based financial institution wholly owned by the Japanese government, on the group’s natural gas projects with the aim of obtaining the banks’ financial support.

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 the UK company’s projects.

BG Group CEO 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 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 US$7.7 billion from capital markets, including US$2.1 billion in hybrid bonds.

BG said it has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bank of China for up to US$1.5 billion of new funding options, reached an initial agreement with Brazilian Development Bank for up to US$1.8 billion of new funding, and also signed a US$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 said it 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 said it has delivered 61 LNG cargoes to Japan, totalling about 3.88 million tonnes.

Also, BG Group has agreed to supply LNG to Tokyo Gas and Chubu Electric that it plans to source from its portfolio as well as the Queensland Curtis LNG project in Australia due to start up in 2014.