Qatargas has “successfully” delivered more than 1,600 LNG cargoes to its Japanese customers, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada has said. Highlighting the strong and lasting partnership between Qatar and Japan in the LNG trade at the annual Qatargas reception in Tokyo, al-Sada said, “We in Qatar are very proud of the very reliable LNG exports to Japan over the past 15 years, which has allowed us to effectively participate in the security of energy supply to our valued Japanese customers. The LNG trade remains the backbone of our relationship with Japan in the energy sector, not only in terms of value but also in terms of significance since Japan was the foundation customer for Qatar’s liquefied natural gas. Japan is by far the largest importer of the product in the world today. “Today our excellent relationship is a testament to our commitment where we continue to demonstrate flexibility and reliability to deliver LNG to wherever it is needed.” Al-Sada also thanked Qatargas’ Japanese partners, shareholders, financial institutions, contractors and service providers for contributing to Qatargas’s success, and reaffirmed the company’s continued commitment to placing the highest priority on maintaining safe and reliable supply of LNG to Japan. Commenting on Qatargas’ relationship with its Japanese customers, chief executive officer Khalid bin Khalifa al-Thani said: “Japan, its people and our customers are very important to us and Qatargas is doing all we can to support Japan’s requirement for stable supplies of energy, especially in the aftermath of the earthquake and resulting tsunami, which struck Japan in March 2011. We have committed to delivering an additional 20mn tonnes of LNG to Japan over a period of several years to support Japan’s increased energy requirements.” The Qatargas reception is held each year to meet the company’s Japanese customers and partners and acknowledge their support and co-operation. Japan is Qatargas’ foundation customer and Qatar’s LNG exports began with the first delivery to Chubu Electric from Qatargas in early 1997. Since then, Qatargas has delivered more than 1,600 LNG cargoes to Japan. Qatargas signed its first sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with Chubu Electric in 1992. This was followed by another SPA with Chubu Electric and seven other Japanese companies in 1994. In December 2011, Qatargas signed a tripartite agreement with Chubu Electric and Shizuoka Gas. In June and September, Qatargas signed SPAs with Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) and Kansai Electric Power Company (Kepco) respectively, both of which are part of the multi-party agreement signed in 1994. Most recently, Qatargas signed a new SPA with Chubu Electric. These agreements reaffirm the continued partnership between Qatar and Japan since the establishment of diplomatic relations 40 years ago. The event was attended by HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, Chairman, Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, also the Chairman of Qatar-Japan Joint Economic Committee. Several Arab ambassadors to Japan as well as top executives representing Qatargas’ Japanese customers and shareholders, in addition to a high level delegation from Qatargas, Qatar Petroleum and its affiliates also attended.