The governmental Japan National Oil Corp. said Wednesday it has picked the town of Kamisu, Ibaraki Prefecture, as the site for a storage tank it will build to store liquefied petroleum gas under the nation’s 1.5-million ton LPG stockpiling program.

The tank is the fifth stockpiling facility to be chosen, JNOC said in a press release.

The tank will allow the government to reach its goal of creating state-run stockpiling facilities with a combined capacity of 1.5 million tons by fiscal 2010, JNOC said.

“The 1.5-million ton stockpiling plan is designed to secure a stable supply” of liquefied petroleum gas, a JNOC spokesman said.

The amount is equal to 30 days’ worth of annual LPG imports.

In a separate program, private-sector LPG suppliers are legally obliged to stockpile 2.5 million tons, equal to 50 days’ worth of the annual imports.

Koa Oil profits sink

Koa Oil Co. announced Wednesday that its group net profit plunged 88.5 percent to 271 million yen in the year ended March 31 largely because of extraordinary losses related to a lump sum writeoff of a shortfall in reserves for retirement allowances.

The oil refiner, however, saw its group pretax profit soar 101.8 percent to 3.54 billion yen thanks to a sharp fall in costs as a result of cost-cutting efforts.

Koa Oil, which is due to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Mitsubishi Oil Corp. on Oct. 1 through an equity swap, posted a consolidated operating profit of 3.83 billion yen, turning around from a loss of 247 million yen the previous year for its first operating profit in three years.

Group sales grew 27.8 percent to 317.85 billion yen thanks to higher sales prices of petroleum products following a hike in crude oil prices.

The company plans to pay a per-share dividend of 10 yen for the just-ended year, down 7.5 yen from the previous year.

For the current business year to March 2002, Koa estimates a group net profit of 2 billion yen and a pretax profit of 3.6 billion yen on sales of 302 billion yen.

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