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Japanese trading houses ramping up biomass business

Sojitz plans to use leftover woody material from Vietnamese factories to make biomass fuel.

TOKYO -- Japan's general trading companies are expanding supplies of fuel for biomass power plants to meet an expected surge in demand from facilities set to start up in 2017 and 2018, a development encouraged by the country's feed-in-tariff system.

Sojitz will begin production as early as 2018 of fuel made from woody biomass in Vietnam in partnership with state-run Vietnam Forest, also known as Vinafor. The duo agreed this month to conduct a feasibility study and aim to spend a year hammering out specific plans.

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