Offshore electricity project bought by Norway's Statkraft

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State-owned Norwegian utility firm Statkraft has agreed to buy a 50 per cent stake in a British offshore windfarm project owned by StatoilHydro.

The deal is worth an estimated five billion crowns (£500 million).

Both firms will develop the ten billion crown project which could supply some 220,000 households with electricity.

The project will be the fourth largest windfarm off the coast of Britain and the wind turbines will be supplied by Siemens.

Statkraft chief executive officer Baard Mikkelsen said: "The partnership with StatoilHydro will take us into the offshore wind industry as well, which is in line with our core growth strategy."

According to energy minister Mike O'Brien, building more windfarms in the UK could drive down the cost of electricity for the consumer and contribute to the reduction of the UK's national carbon footprint.

Speaking to a meeting of delegates from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and a range of businesses, Mr O'Brien added that the developments could create thousands of new jobs.

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