JGC said its joint venture with US-based Fluor Corporation was awarded the tender by Chevron Canada to design and build the Kitimat LNG plant in the western province of British Columbia.

Chevron and Apache Canada each hold a 50 percent interest in the proposed plant, which will have an annual capacity of 11 million tonnes of LNG, according to a JGC statement.

Neither JGC nor Fluor announced financial details of the contract or when construction would begin.

According to media reports, the site would process natural gas into its liquefied form before being shipped to Japan and other markets and the plant, worth USD 9.43 billion, would be Canada's first major LNG production facility. LNG shipments could start as early as 2018.

Resource-poor Japan, the world's largest importer of LNG, has increasingly turned to alternative energy sources after shutting down its nuclear reactors in response to the 2011 Fukushima atomic disaster.

The deal comes as Japan and its neighbours look to scrap the so-called ‘Asian premium’.   

Asia's importers have for years paid sharply higher LNG prices than in Europe and North America because their contracts are often long-term and linked to oil prices.

The trend has remained intact despite increasing global production of LNG, particularly in United States.

(Agencies)

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