* Chubu accepts delivery of Grace Cosmos tanker -tracking data
* LNG demand rising in Japan after Fukushima nuclear disaster
* Japan’s LNG imports on track to hit record high in 2012/13 (Adds details)
TOKYO, June 5 (Reuters) - Chubu Electric Power Co accepted the delivery of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker from France on June 3, the utility said on Tuesday, in what is likely to be Japan’s first LNG import from France.
Chubu, Japan’s third-biggest utility, has boosted purchases of fossil fuels as its sole Hamaoka nuclear plant was shut down indefinitely after the Fukushima nuclear crisis last year on concerns it might also be hit by a big earthquake.
A Chubu Electric spokesman declined to comment on the details on the cargo, citing a confidentiality agreement.
But ship tracking data showed it was the Grace Cosmos tanker, which departed from the Montoir terminal operated by GDF Suez’s Elengy unit in France, that arrived at Chubu Electric’s Chiba LNG terminal this month.
Chubu imported a record 13.12 million tonnes of LNG in the financial year ended March 31, up from 10.45 million tonnes in the previous year.
Japan, the world’s top LNG buyer, imported a record 83.2 million tonnes of LNG in 2011/12, following the Fukushima disaster, and LNG imports could rise to as high as around 90 million tonnes in the current financial year ending next March, the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) has said. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Himani Sarkar)