JBIC is co-financing a US$175mn loan with private institutions to fund an LNG project in Queensland, Australia.

The loan will fund a coal-bed methane-based liquefied natural gas (CBM-LNG) project undertaken by Tokyo Gas, Australian QGC (affiliated with the BG Group) and the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

The project will produce 8.5 million tonnes of LNG annually on Curtis Island off the coast of Gladstone, Queensland from the CBM gas field in the Surat basin of the same state.

Tokyo Gas has concluded a long-term sales and purchase agreement with BG Group to take an annual delivery of 1.2 million-tonnes of LNG, which is equivalent to more than 10% of the company’s annual offtake volume, over two decades from 2015.

Australia occupies an extremely significant position in terms of supplying natural gas to Japan. CBM reserves stored in coal beds are believed to account for approximately 40% of the total proven natural gas reserves in Australia, JBIC says.

This is the first loan provided by JBIC for the CMB-LNG project.