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Marubeni to Buy Mainstream Renewable Stake, GDF Power Assets

Marubeni Corp. will pay as much as 100 million euros ($133 million) for a holding in Ireland’s Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. and will take a 50 percent stake in a subsidiary of GDF Suez SA.

The Tokyo-based company will acquire about 25 percent in Mainstream, becoming the second-largest shareholder in the company, according to a statement today from Marubeni, Japan’s biggest power and agriculture trading company. Mainstream, set up in 2008, has developed more than 19,000 megawatts of solar, and offshore and onshore, wind projects in seven countries, according to the statement.

Marubeni also signed a strategic partnership with GDF Suez, a French power and gas utility, for half of National Power International Holdings B.V. National Power International holds GDF’s thermal and renewable power projects in Portugal.

The Japanese trading company is already partners in a floating wind turbine project off the coast of Fukushima and is working to revive the country’s geothermal industry.

The announcements came as Marubeni expands its portfolio in power generation. The deals announced today will make Marubeni the first Japanese independent power producer to have a net generating capacity of 10,000 megawatts, according to the company.

Globally Expand

Through the partnership with GDF Suez, Marubeni will manage power plants totaling 3,300 megawatts, or about 17 percent of the power generation capacity in Portugal, the trading company said in a separate statement today.

“Marubeni hopes to globally expand its already established partnership with GDFS in Asia and the Middle East markets by creating this new strategic partnership in the European market,” the company said. Nikkei reported that the alliance is intended to develop projects in Europe and Africa.

Marubeni and Innovation Network Corp. of Japan in 2012 bought Seajacks International Ltd., the North Sea operator of self-propelled vessels used to install and maintain offshore wind turbines. In 2011, the company also acquired a 49.9 percent stake in Gunfleet Sands, the U.K. offshore wind farm owned by Denmark’s Dong Energy A/S.

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