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GDF Suez Buys U.K. Wind Turbine Operator West Coast Energy

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- GDF Suez SA, owner of Europe’s biggest natural-gas network, has acquired U.K. wind energy developer West Coast Energy for an undisclosed price.

The purchase “strengthens GDF Suez’s commitment to expand its wind portfolio in the U.K.,” the Courbevoie, France-based company said in a statement. West Coast has 650 megawatts representing 9 percent of the U.K.’s onshore wind capacity as well as 200 megawatts in the pipeline.

GDF Suez, which also runs atomic plants in Belgium and offshore gas platforms, has been hurt by lower demand for gas-fired power during Europe’s economic decline. It has closed or mothballed more than 11,000 megawatts of capacity in the region.

Before the wind-energy deal, GDF Suez was operating 70 megawatts of wind farms across the U.K., according to today’s statement. It has almost 7,000 megawatts of power capacity overall in the country.

GDF Suez became France’s biggest wind-energy company after taking control of Cie du Vent in 2007.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net Alex Devine, Amanda Jordan

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