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Mitsubishi Heavy may build U.S. wind turbine plant

TOKYO (Reuters) - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd <7011.T> said on Monday it is considering building a wind turbine plant in the United States, and will a make final decision after seeing how demand recovers.

Mitsubishi is currently tussling with General Electric <GE.N> over wind turbine patents, with the GE this month filing patent suits against the Japanese company in a U.S. Court.

GE, the biggest wind turbine maker in the United States, earlier lost a case against Mitsubishi filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Mitsubishi's plans call for a wind turbine manufacturing plant to be built in Fort Smith, Arkansas, with an investment cost of $100 million.

"We'll make a final investment decision after seeing how demand recovers, probably in the second half of the 2010 financial year," said a spokesman for the company.

Mitsubishi, which holds some 7 percent of the U.S. market, sells about 100 billion yen ($1.1 billion) worth of wind turbines a year, with 80-90 percent of them sold in the United States.

Mitsubishi Heavy's shares were 0.6 percent higher at 320 yen, compared with a 0.4 percent decline for the benchmark Nikkei average <.N225>.

(Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo and Yuko Inoue; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)