• Kyodo

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Chubu Electric Power Co. is considering joining hands with Inpex Corp. to sell electricity to gas operators in the Kanto region, company sources said Tuesday.

The Nagoya-based utility, which currently supplies power in central Japan under a regional monopoly system, hopes to utilize the sales channels of the leading oil and gas producer, which is based in Tokyo, and expand its business ties before the expected liberalization of power retailing next year, they said.

Chubu Electric aims to sell electricity through its Tokyo unit, Diamond Power Corp., to gas operators, which may sell gas and power together to consumers at a discount price, according to the sources.

The two companies forged a business tie-up covering liquid natural gas in July 2013, with Chubu Electric providing a portion of the LNG obtained by its thermal power plant in Niigata Prefecture to a neighboring Inpex LNG terminal.