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Orix Considering 2 Coal and Biomass Power Plants in Japan

Orix Corp., a Tokyo-based finance and leasing company, may build two power stations in Japan to expand its capacity as a power retailer.

The plants -- with 110 megawatts of capacity each -- may be set up in Fukuoka and Fukushima prefectures and would use coal and woody biomass as fuel, Tamaki Shibata, a company spokeswoman, said by phone today.

The company will spend 50 billion yen ($491 million) on the two plants, the Sankei newspaper reported today. Providing a cost estimate at this time is premature, Shibata said.

Orix registered as a power retailer in 2009 and has been selling electricity to users with contracts of 50 kilowatts and above, according to Shibata. The company is planning to expand to homes and small stores once Japan’s retail power market is completely liberalized as early as 2016, the Sankei reported.

Orix is considering the move, though no decision has been made, Shibata said.

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