Shizuoka Gas Co, a Japanese city gas supplier has reportedly inked a binding agreement with China’s Clean Energy to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its western Japan-based Shimizu terminal, the company said.

As per trusted sources, Shizuoka Gas will supply the LNG through so-called ISO tank containers, which are usually pressurized tubes that carry the natural fuel in its cold state and correspond in size to standard shipping containers to enable movement via truck, container ship, and rail.

Edmund Siau, an analyst at FGE stated that although some Japanese companies already domestically supply LNG through ISO tanks, this is the first deal in which the Japanese buyer would supply LNG overseas through ISO containers.

Siau also noted that LNG transportation through ISO tanks is typically done on trucks for distribution on a small scale and currently occurs within markets like Japan and China.

Although limited, the industry has seen some long-distance marine trade like the FortBC’s Canada-China shipment, Siau added.

Sources claimed that Shizuoka Gas is the only Japanese company that presently possesses the ability to re-export fuel by re-loading LNG onto ships.

As per the agreement, the Japanese gas supplier will deliver 1,600 metric tons of LNG a year from 2019 to 2021 to Clean Energy, which is a fully owned subsidiary of China’s Dalian Inteh Holdings Co. Since 2017, Shizuoka Gas has been seeking further utilization of the terminal, when it first sold gas from the reloading facility, the company stated.

The statement further mentions that LNG supplied from Shizuoka will be delivered to Rizhao Public Transport Group and Taishan Gas Group in China via Clean Energy and Ants Energy as a company selling LNG under Dalian Inteh Holdings.

For the record, an LNG cargo last left from Japan for China back in November 2017, according to ship-tracking data by Refinitiv Eikon.