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KITAKYUSHU (Kyodo) A next-generation energy exhibition kicked off Wednesday in Kitakyushu, featuring technologies that can convert hydrogen and biomass into energy.

Eco-Technology Exhibition 2004, consisting of several displays and seminars, will be held at the West Japan General Exhibition Center until Friday.

In one display, 43 companies and groups will showcase their technologies, including advanced fuel-cell vehicles by five domestic and overseas automakers and miniature fuel cells for mobile phones by leading electronic manufacturers, organizers said.

Kyushu University, which receives government subsidies for its research, will outline at one of the seminars its achievements on a hydrogen energy project.

The heavy chemical industry has flourished in the northern area of Kyushu, resulting in the production of a massive amount of hydrogen gas. Hopes are high that the area can become a center of the hydrogen energy industry, the organizers said.

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