One of Europe's largest wind power engineering firms has promised to open a turbine manufacturing base in Scotland, as it eyes up a major expansion in North Sea windfarms.

Areva, a French nuclear power and renewables company, has signed an outline agreement with the investment agency Scottish Enterprise to site one of three new factories it is opening across Europe in eastern Scotland.

The deal, unveiled during a visit to Paris by the first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, is predicted to create up to 750 engineering jobs at the new site and further jobs in the wider supply chain.

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