LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - Britain's Centrica and Japan's Tokyo Gas have signed a non-binding agreement to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Anadarko Petroleum's Mozambique acreage, a deal that will help the U.S. company reach a final decision on the project.
Centrica and Tokyo Gas will buy 2.6 million tonnes of LNG per year (mmta) from the start of operations until the early 2040s, the companies said in a statement.
"The transaction represents the first long-term offtake agreement from Africa for both Tokyo Gas and Centrica in line with ongoing efforts to further diversify their respective portfolios of LNG sources," Centrica said in a statement.
The agreement pushes Anadarko closer to reaching a 8.1 mmta target in potential sales needed to trigger a final investment decision that would formally commit it to going ahead with the $20 billion project.
Anadarko had already agreed commercial terms including volume and price for 5.1 mmta of LNG off-take deals from Mozambique, the company said in February.
It is also seeking to raise $14-$15 billion from banks and export credit agencies, the largest ever loan in the LNG sector, sources told Reuters in May.
The U.S. oil major aims to build from scratch a 17,000-acre liquefaction complex in Mozambique's remote north to chill gas pumped from the Golfinho/Atum fields in its Area 1 deepwater block, 16.5 km (10 miles) offshore.
It will produce 12.88 mmta of LNG in its initial phase, which can be expanded to 50 mmta. (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki; editing by Jason Neely)