LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters) -
* Privately-owned U.S. liquefied natural gas terminal operator Freeport LNG said it had signed a binding agreement with a U.S. unit of Sumitomo Corp to supply the Japanese company with 2.2 million tonnes a year for 20 years under a tolling structure (LTA)
* The LTA is expected to start in 2023 once commercial operations begin at the fourth train (Train 4) of Freeport LNG's export facility on Quintana Island near Freeport, Texas.
* "We are pleased to announce the start of a long-term relationship with Sumitomo as our first Train 4 foundation customer," said Michael Smith, Chairman and CEO of Freeport LNG.
* "Sumitomo's 2.2 mtpa of capacity under this HOA is a major step toward Freeport LNG contracting the approximately 3.5 mtpa needed for financing and commencing construction of Train 4."
* Freeport's first train, or facility, is due to come on stream in the first half of next year. (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki; editing by David Evans)