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Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and partners will provide a ¥6.3 billion loan for a biomass plant developed by a unit of First Energy Service Co.

A loan agreement for the 18-megawatt woody-biomass plant in Oita Prefecture was signed with a group of banks that included Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Bank, First Energy Service said in a statement Monday.

Separately, Sumitomo and others will provide a ¥2.2 billion loan for a woody-biomass plant in Iwate Prefecture being developed by a unit of Fujikoh Co.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and two other banks will also join, Sumitomo and Fujikoh said in a statement Monday.

There was a spike in the number of applications for biomass projects in March.

The trade ministry approved projects with a combined capacity of 691 megawatts in a one-month period, adding to the 874 megawatts of capacity that had been approved since the introduction of an incentive program in July 2012.