TOKYO - Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Saturday it has signed a Heads of Agreement with U.S. major Chevron to procure 4.1 million tonnes per year of liquefied natural gas from Australia's Wheatstone project. Under the agreement, TEPCO, Japan's top utility, will acquire 15 percent of Chevron's equity stake in Wheatstone field license and an 11.25 percent stake in Wheatstone gas processing facility.

TEPCO intends to buy 3.1 million tonnes per year of LNG from the project from Chevron for up to 20 years, and it is expected to be entitled to an additional 1 million tonnes per year based on its equity stake.

A TEPCO spokesman declined to comment on the value of the investment.

Chevron plans to ship first gas from the project as early as 2016.

The first phase of the Wheatstone project consists of two LNG processing trains with a total capacity of about 8.6 million tonnes per year and a gas plant. A final investment decision is planned for 2011. (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)