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Nippon Mitsubishi says to enter windpower business

Nippon Mitsubishi says to enter windpower business
TOKYO - Nippon Mitsubishi Oil Corp , Japan\'s biggest oil company, said yesterday it planned to get into the wind power industry, becoming the first Japanese oil company to become involved in the business.
A spokesman said Nippon Mitsubishi planned to build a wind generator at a former oil storage site in Akita prefecture, northern Japan, and was also considering building a facility on the southern island of Okinawa. \"We are planning to enter the wind power business. But when to build and the scale of the output have not been decided yet,\" the spokesman said. \"The plan is part of our strategy to expand our power business,\" he said. Wind power\'s share of total electricity output in Japan is now about 0.1 percent. The Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily reported yesterday that Nippon Mitsubishi would build a facility to generate 2,000 to 3,000 kilowatts in Akita as early as next year. The paper said the company aimed to raise total output to 10,000 kilowatts within two or three years. The company announced in November that it planned to build a 400,000-500,000 kilowatt thermal power plant with Tokyo Gas Co Ltd in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, aiming to sell power to electricity retailers. Non-power utilities are currently free to supply power to large-lot consumers and further deregulation of the power market is under discussion. Nippon Mitsubishi\'s shares were up two yen or 0.33 percent after the morning session. The benchmark Nikkei stock average was up 0.71 percent. REUTERS NEWS SERVICE
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