An Idemitsu Kosan (5019) Co. and Mitsubishi (8058) Corp. joint venture agreed to boost its purchases of liquefied petroleum gas from Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPD) amid increased demand for the fuel in Japan.
Tokyo-based Astomos Energy Corp. will buy 800,000 metric tons a year of LPG from 2017 to 2018, up 200,000 tons from an earlier contract, it said in a Sept. 2 statement on its website. Under previous agreements, Astomos will buy 400,000 tons a year from 2013 through 2015 and 600,000 tons in 2016.
Japan’s LPG imports from the U.S. rose 48 percent in the six months ended June 30 to 390,000 tons from a year earlier as a shale-gas boom increased production of the fuel, according to data from the Finance Ministry. The Asian nation’s LPG consumption will rise 5.6 percent to about 16.1 million tons in the year ending March 2014, a government panel estimated in a June report, citing a projected economic recovery.
Idemitsu Kosan, a Japanese oil refiner, owns a 51 percent stake in Astomos Energy while Mitsubishi, the country’s biggest trader, holds the rest, according to the venture’s website.
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