As Chubu Electric Power Co. and a unit of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. complete the integration of their thermal power businesses Monday under joint venture Jera Co., the growing potential of LNG at home and abroad has received renewed attention.

The joint venture will have nearly 30 percent of the nation's total power generation capacity — making it the nation's largest electric power firm — although that figure includes the potential output of nuclear plants shut indefinitely for safety checks.

Jera was set up in 2015 and has been handling fuel purchases and transport for the two utility firms. It imports some 35 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually, amounting to about 40 percent of the total imports by Japan — the world's top LNG importer — and more than 10 percent of total gas traded globally.