Osaka Gas sees profit jump in FY23/24 after Freeport LNG restarts

(Reuters) - Japan's Osaka Gas Co predicted on Monday that its net profit will double to ¥116 B in the current fiscal year to March 2024 after the restart of exports from the U.S. liquefied natural gas company Freeport LNG.

Freeport LNG's export plant, which supplies Osaka Gas with 2.32 million tons of the super-chilled fuel per year, was shut down after a fire in June 2022, and exited an eight-month outage in February.

The outage caused a ¥147.7 B one-off loss to Osaka Gas for the year ended March 31 as the Japanese city gas distributor needed to pay higher prices to buy alternative supply due to delays in re-opening of Freeport LNG.

As a result, Osaka Gas's net profit in the year ended March 31 fell 56% from a year earlier to ¥57.1 B.

But the company forecast a 103% jump in profit this year as it anticipates normal operations at Freeport, the second-biggest LNG exporter in the U.S.

"As of now, we are receiving full contracted volume of LNG from Freeport," a spokesperson at Osaka Gas said.

Osaka Gas is also an owner of the U.S. project, holding 10.8% stake in Freeport LNG and 25% stake in one of the three liquefaction trains.

JERA, Japan's biggest power generator and another LNG buyer from Freeport, also said last month that it expects to receive full contracted volume of LNG from Freeport in the current fiscal year.

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