The firm appears to have begun negotiations with multiple companies to sell the business. The company’s business restructure is expected to gain momentum by selling the business, which has been considered Toshiba’s largest future risk.
Toshiba is considering selling its concessions to liquefy 2.2 million tons of natural gas per year at Freeport LNG Development, L.P. in the United States. The gas is acquired by a Toshiba subsidiary. Toshiba had planned to sell liquefied natural gas to electric power companies and others in Japan for 20 years from 2020.
Toshiba signed the contract with Freeport LNG Development in 2013, when the Japanese company was able to buy natural gas cheaply. It aimed to earn profits by selling liquefied natural gas that was imported from the United States.
However, the price of liquefied natural gas fluctuates greatly, depending on crude oil prices. Observers pointed out that if Toshiba cannot find any companies to sell the gas to, it could lose up to ¥1 trillion.
At a press conference given about Toshiba’s financial statements on Wednesday, Masayoshi Hirata, corporate executive vice president and chief financial officer, said, “We regard having commodities that fluctuate widely depending on the market to be a risk, and we are planning to take any possible measures [on the liquefied natural gas business].