The Japan Bank for International Cooperation said it has signed a loan agreement totaling up to US$604 million with Mitsui & Co.
The loan is cofinanced with private financial institutions, bringing the overall cofinancing amount to US$1,007 million, JBIC said in a statement.
The loan is intended to finance the acquisition by Japan Australia LNG (MIMI Browse), an Australian company invested in by Mitsui & Co., of a 16% interest in East Browse and an 8% interest in West Browse, which make up the Browse Gas and Condensate Fields off the coast of Western Australia owned by Woodside Petroleum through its subsidiary. MIMI Browse plans to develop the gas-condensate field with Woodside, which is an operator, together with other partners, and offtake the products in accordance with participating interests, and sell mostly to Japan.
Although the importance of LNG remains high following the Great East Japan Earthquake, the existing long term LNG purchase contracts with major LNG supply countries such as Indonesia are sequentially facing their renewal times. Under these circumstances, the importance of Australia, a politically and economically stable country with abundant resource reserves, is increasing more and more as a LNG supplier, and thereby this loan will contribute to securing the stable supply of LNG to Japan through supporting the acquisition of interests in energy by Japanese companies.