Thanks to over $0.5 billion loan, Trafigura enables Japanese utility player to get  LNG imports

Global commodity trading giant Trafigura has received a loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), enabling a Japanese utility company to fund its needs for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports on a term basis.

Illustration; Source: Trafigura

The loan agreement, co-financed with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), was signed on March 27, 2024. With JBIC’s portion of around $390 million, the total co-financing amount is approximately $560 million, which will be used for LNG imports on a term basis from Trafigura by an undisclosed Japanese utility company, according to the commodity trading firm.

Richard Holtum, Global Head of Gas, Power and Renewables for Trafigura, commented: “We’re delighted to have been trusted with helping a Japanese utility company meet its energy needs and securing a stable supply to the Japanese market, and are grateful for the financial support of JBIC and SMBC in achieving this goal.”

Against the backdrop of the rise in global demand for LNG and uncertainty over resource price increases, the loan is meant to aid in securing a stable supply of LNG in Japan, since this is an important energy resource for the country.

The bank intends to continue helping secure a stable supply of important resources for Japan by drawing on its various financial facilities and schemes for structuring projects and performing its risk-assuming function.

Trafigura entered into similar revolving credit facilities to supply European customers with LNG from the United States last October, while earlier this year, the company signed a seven-year LNG agreement with Canada’s natural gas producer, Tourmaline.

Being one of the world’s largest charterers of vessels, with over 5,000 voyages annually, Trafigura recently announced that it was aiming for at least six zero-emission green ammonia-fuelled vessels in its fleet by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of its shipping operations by 25%. 

One of these, a newbuild very large gas carrier (VLGC) for LPG and/or ammonia transport, named Taebaek Explorer, was unveiled a few days ago by Hyundai Glovis. The launch of another, Sobaek Explorer, is expected in mid-2024.

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