November 27, 2017 / 11:48 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Origin Energy targets APLNG cost cuts; reaffirms forecast

(Adds additional details about APLNG, background, share movemenr)

Nov 28 (Reuters) - Australia’s Origin Energy Ltd said on Tuesday it is targeting cost reductions at its Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) liquefied natural gas project as it looks to lower its debt.

The country’s top power and gas retailer said it will seek to reduce capital and operating expenditure by more than A$500 million ($380 million) per annum over 18 months at the project, and will then target further cost cuts.

Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) is a joint venture between Origin Energy, US giant ConocoPhillips and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec).

Origin also said that APLNG is complete and is “exceeding performance expectations” as it reiterated the project’s full-year 2018 guidance.

The Sydney-based company took on additional debt to build APLNG, which it said it would be trimmed to below A$7 billion by the end of fiscal 2018.

Origin also reaffirmed its full-year earnings guidance.

The company’s shares rose 2.4 percent in early trade on Tuesday, while the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.2 percent.

$1 = 1.3148 Australian dollars Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin

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