Jera Trading (Jerat), the joint trading venture between Japanese LNG and fuel procurement and utility company Jera Co. Inc. and French firm EDF Trading established in April 2017 following the acquisition of EDFT’s coal business, is continuing its countdown to becoming Jera Global Markets.
Jerat is strengthening its team by hiring a senior trader from global commodities firm Vitol.
Jerat said Alex Baileff would join the company in April as Senior Vice President for Coal.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Alex to Jera Trading. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and trading experience which will be an asset to our coal and freight activities as we develop Jerat’s global footprint,” said Sunao Nakamura, Chairman of the Board of Jera Trading.
Jera and EDF Trading signed an agreement last year to form an LNG optimization and trading joint venture whereby Jera’s and EDFT’s LNG trading activities would be merged into Jerat, which will be renamed Jera Global Markets.
This agreement is expected to be completed in early 2019. Baileff will join Jerat’s senior team comprising Kazunori Kasai, Chief Executive; Robert Quick, Director of Corporate Affairs; Hisaki Endo, Director of Group Coordination; Ronan Lory, Chief Operating Officer; and Sarah Behbehani, senior Vice President of LNG.
Jera Co. Inc is the main company in all the operations. It was set up by Tokyo Electric Power Co and Chubu Electric to combine their LNG and other trading activities and ultimately to run their power businesses as the industry in Japan reformed and was deregulated.
On the trading front, the new Jera Global Markets will have more than 300 people and offices in Japan, Singapore, the UK, the US and the Netherlands, Jerat will become one of the largest utility-owned seaborne energy optimizers, spanning Asia, the Pacific and the Atlantic Basins.
The two firms noted that as the demand for LNG in Japan becoming increasingly variable and difficult to predict and with the ramp-up in US liquefaction and exports, Europe has become a key balancing market for excess global LNG.
Jera and EDFT have said there is significant room for optimizing LNG on a global basis, establishing a more liquid market, and over time developing a clear pricing signal for LNG in Asia.
Jera Co. Inc. holds 66.67 percent of the equity in Jerat through its wholly-owned subsidiary Jera Trading International while the French firm holds 33.33 percent of the Jerat shares.