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SoftBank, partners eye Northeast Asian clean power grid

TOKYO -- Softbank Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese, South Korean and Russian power companies to build a cross-border power grid in Northeastern Asia to deliver renewable energy, the Japanese company said Wednesday.

     SoftBank, State Grid Corp. of China, Korea Electric Power, and Russia's PJSC Rosseti signed the memorandum at an international energy conference hosted by the Chinese state-owned company Wednesday. The four companies will collaborate on research and planning. They will conduct feasibility studies to install submarine power cables spanning a total of about 600km to connect China and South Korea; Japan and South Korea; and Japan and Russia. The quartet hopes to support economic growth in Asia, where air pollution poses a serious problem, with clean energy.

     The partners will work to cross-supply clean and safe electricity for low prices, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said at the conference. They will request support from governments and power companies of the countries involved, with the aim of completing a portion of the grid around 2020.

     Separately, SoftBank is working on a wind-power facility in Mongolia. If the electricity generated there can be sent to Japan using the power grid, that could significantly lower electricity prices in Japan.

(Nikkei)

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