Japan's biggest oil refiner Eneos Holdings said on May 11 it planned to more than double net profit to 310 billion yen ($2.3 billion) in three years and expand aggressively in green energy and climate-friendlier fuels.

Companies in Japan, an energy-poor country importing nearly everything from oil to coal, are under pressure from the government and shareholders to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has also made the green transition a matter of national energy security.

Eneos, which still relies mainly on its oil business, plans to spend 1 trillion yen over three years on its energy segment, including renewable energy projects, the hydrogen supply chain and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Its first SAF plant in Japan should be launched in 2026, and it is considering another SAF facility that could be operational by about 2030. Renewable energy, primarily solar and wind power, should reach 6 gigawatts (GW) to 8 GW by 2040 from less than 1 GW now, the company said.

Eneos, also a major miner, said it was preparing to list its metal unit JX Nippon Mining and Metals, although the plans had yet to be finalized.

Through the listing, Eneos will be able to execute strategic investment, which is necessary for transforming the business portfolio to realize the energy transition, President Takeshi Saito said.

"The spin-off will also help reduce volatility of Eneos' earnings," he said.

JX will sell majority stake in the Caserones copper mine in Chile to Lundin Mining after suffering a series of ramp-up delays and cost overruns, resulting nearly 350 billion yen of appraisal loss in total.

Eneos aims to boost net profit to 310 billion yen in the fiscal year to March 2026 from 180 billion yen projected for the current 2023/24 year.

Net profit fell 73% in 2022/2023 fiscal year to 143.8 billion yen, hurt by declines in its petrochemical business and as gains on inventories were reduced.

Eneos plans to invest 180 billion yen over the three years in its oil and gas upstream segment, including for additional development of LNG in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, and in its carbon-capture and storage business.