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Nov 1 (Reuters) - Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co Ltd acquired a 20.6 percent interest in the 561-megawatt Astoria I natural gas-fired power plant in New York City from the North American unit of French power company GDF Suez SA .
Mitsui did not say what it paid for the stake, but noted in a statement on Thursday that the project was worth about $1 billion.
Astoria I provides electricity to a unit of New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc under an agreement that runs through 2016. The unit entered service in 2006.
One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.
Mitsui said the deal "strengthens the global partnership between GDF Suez and Mitsui, which covers power generation and LNG (liquefied natural gas) export businesses across 12 countries worldwide."
With this transaction, Mitsui said GDF Suez now owned 38 percent of Astoria I; AE Investor, 25 percent; SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, 12.3 percent; and East River, 4.1 percent.