Soaring imports of oil and gas helped push Japan's trade deficit in 2012 to 6.9 trillion yen ($75 billion). As the largest Japanese electricity company, TEPCO is especially keen to reduce costs for its fuel imports.
It said its facilities, designed to handle so-called "hot" or "rich" LNG, need to be adapted to the type of "lean LNG" — LNG with a low heating value — to be shipped from the Cameron project.
A 10-year plan the company announced earlier calls for importing 10 million metric tons per year of lean LNG, expanding its LNG storage capacity, setting up a specialized LNG receiving terminal and upgrading equipment.
Mitsui and Mitsubishi are targeting 4 million metric tons a year in U.S. LNG exports from the Cameron project, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper reported.