The logo of French oil giant Total is seen on a flag at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France. Image Credit: Reuters

Tokyo. Toshiba Corp will transfer an agreement to process natural gas at the Freeport LNG project in Texas to France’s Total SA, the companies said on Saturday.

Toshiba will pay Total $815 million to transfer the 20-year liquefaction rights to the French major and expects to finalise the deal by March 2020, according to a statement filed to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Tokyo-based company had obligations to pay fixed amounts regardless of whether or not it could sell the LNG, and faced billions in losses when the contract kicks off in 2020.

The Japanese industrial giant had been looking to sell the Freeport LNG liquefaction rights in an effort to limit exposure to a deal that has threatened to lead to multibillion dollar write downs. An earlier agreement with ENN Group was scrapped in April after failing to receive approval from the Chinese company’s board.

Toshiba targets complete withdrawal from the LNG business by finalising the Freeport LNG transfer. The 2013 deal gave Toshiba the right to liquefy 2.2 million tons a year of US gas for 20 years beginning in 2020.