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Japanese utilities cool to Tepco's tie-up proposals

Fukushima plant operator needs partners to lift profit

An expert panel recommends that Tepco partner with another utility in power generation and electricity distribution.

TOKYO -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings will likely face difficulty finding business partners as rival utilities remain cautious about joining hands with the troubled Fukushima plant operator, casting doubts over a recovery scenario envisioned by the government. 

A proposal compiled by experts sees Tepco revamping or consolidating operations with other utilities in nuclear and coal-fired power generation as well as electricity distribution. The steps are aimed at enhancing Tepco's earnings power in order to let the beleaguered utility pay as much of the costs as possible involving the 2011 nuclear disaster, which have ballooned to 21.5 trillion yen ($182 billion). 

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