UPDATE 1-Chubu Electric to buy LNG from Qatar for 15 yrs from 2013


* Kansai Elec, Tokyo Elec make similar deals with Qatar

* Chubu declines to comment on pricing of new contract

(Adds details)

TOKYO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Chubu Electric Power Co ,Japan's third-biggest power utility, has signed a secondlong-term contract to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from itsmain supplier Qatargas for 15 years from 2013 to ensure stablesupplies.

Chubu Electric relies heavily on gas-fired power plants togenerate electricity. The company said it will buy 1 milliontonnes of LNG per year from Qatargas between 2013 and 2017 and700,000 tonnes per year between 2018 and 2028.

Chubu's first long-term contract with Qatargas sees itimporting 4 million tonnes of LNG a year from 1997 to 2021, acompany spokesman said.

Earlier this year, Japan's biggest power utilities, TokyoElectric Power Co and Kansai Electric Power Cosigned similar long-term contracts with Qatar.

Currently, all but two of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors remainoffline while the newly launched nuclear regulator is compilingsafety standards to ease public concerns after last year'sFukushima disaster.

Chubu shut its only nuclear facility, the 3,617 megawattHamaoka plant, in a quake-prone area in May 2011 after agovernment request.

The pricing of the new contract will be decided afternegotiations with Qatargas, the spokesman said, without givingdetails.

Traditionally, the pricing of LNG contracts in Asia islinked to oil prices, a factor which drove most utilities topost losses in the past financial year.

Chubu bought 8.33 million tonnes of Qatari LNG in the yearthat ended in March, which accounted for 63 percent of its totalLNG imports, the company spokesman said.

The share of Qatari origin stood at 52 percent out ofChubu's total LNG imports of 10.45 million tonnes in the yearthat ended in March 2011, when the Hamaoka plant was online.

(Reporting by Risa Maeda; editing by Miral Fahmy)


Messaging: risa.maeda.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))