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Japan Inc to back Australian Industrial Energy project

Andrew Forrest, Marubeni and JERA, and by James Baulderstone are all involved in New South Wales LNG project

Australian Industrial Energy, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, aims to import gas to New South Wales.

The Australian billionaire and former CEO of Fortesque Metals Group, Andrew Forrest, has formed a joint venture with Japan Inc to fund the consortium.

The Japanese firms include Marubeni and JERA, the joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Co and Chubu Electric Power Co, and the world’s biggest LNG buyer.

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The project aims to annually deliver 2mn tonnes of LNG to Australia’s east coast from 2020, in order to manage rising exports and lower production.

Australian Industrial Energy will be led by James Baulderstone, who previously worked for Santos Ltd, the oil and gas company.

"We have yet to complete the final feasibility studies, investment decision and regulatory approvals but it is already clear that this virtual pipeline provides the capability of accessing the world's most affordable gas and bringing it to the east coast market," Mr Baulderstone told The Australian Financial Review in confirming his leadership of the AIE project.

“Given the partners involved and their world leading expertise and capabilities, the project is very well placed to deliver firm, long-term gas and power supply to industry and the energy market at highly competitive prices and terms,” he added.

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