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UPDATE 1-Japan's TEPCO to take stake in Texas nuclear project

TOKYO, May 10 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co TEPCO said on Monday it plans to take a stake of about 9.24 percent in a Texas nuclear plant expansion project for $125 million, or about 12 billion yen, the first such participation by a Japanese utility. TEPCO, Asia's largest utility, said it also planned to invest about 2.8 billion yen in a year for an option that would give it the right to acquire an additional 10 percent stake for $125 million. TEPCO said it sealed the deal with Nuclear Innovation North America LLC (NINA), a partnership between NRG Energy Inc and Toshiba Corp, to participate in the South Texas Project expansion to build No.3 and No.4 advanced boiling water reactors (ABWRs), each with output of around 1,350 megawatts. Operations were due to start in 2016-2017. TEPCO has been a consultant on the South Texas expansion since 2007. "We decided to participate in this project to secure a long-term stable source of profits, to grow with a new business opportunity and to globally contribute to cutting CO2 emissions," TEPCO said in a statement. The South Texas project, one of the United States' largest nuclear power plants, supplies 7.5 percent of the electricity used in Texas, or enough for more than 2 million homes. The plant is managed by the STP Nuclear Operating Co and owned by Austin Energy, CPS Energy and NRG. ($1=91.56 Yen) (Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori and Chikako Mogi; Editing by Michael Watson) ((osamu.tsukimori@thomsonreuters.com ; +813 6441 1857; Reuters Messaging: osamu.tsukimori.reuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: NUCLEAR TEPCO/ (If you have a query or comment on this story, send an email to news.feedback.asia@thomsonreuters.com) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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