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UPDATE 1-TEPCO mulls building nuclear plants overseas-Kyodo

(Updates with company comments, background)

TOKYO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co 9501.T, Asia's largest utility, is considering building nuclear power plants overseas, Kyodo News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Kyodo said TEPCO was considering focusing such moves in emerging countries in Asia, such as Vietnam and India, where demand for electricity is expected to strengthen as their economies grow.

TEPCO already offers consulting on nuclear power technology in the United States, but it is seeking to go beyond such technical cooperation, Kyodo said, without citing its sources.

Faced with sluggish domestic demand, TEPCO is seeking a new source of revenue, Kyodo said.

A TEPCO spokesperson said there were no such concrete plans at present.

“We are studying ways in which we can tap our expertise and contribute to the promotion of nuclear power generation, but there are no specific plans or issues we are pursuing at present,” said Manabu Takeyama, the spokesperson.

TEPCO’s bottom line has been hit hard after a July 2007 earthquake indefinitely closed its main nuclear power plant, the world’s largest, nearly doubling oil use at a time of high energy prices.

$1=88.99 Yen Reporting by Chikako Mogi, editing by Anthony Barker

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