Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and Dutch energy firm Eneco have agreed to jointly invest in a Belgian offshore wind project.

The two firms will together hold a 50 per cent share in the 370 MW Norther project, with the remaining 50 per cent held by Belgium’s Nethys, a telecoms company.

The project is to be developed, built and operated by the three companies 23 km off the Belgian coast in the North Sea. It is planned to feature 44 MHI-Vestas 8.4 MW turbines.

Once completed, Norther will be Belgium’s largest offshore wind farm and is expected to power almost 400,000 households. Construction is planned to begin in early 2017, and the wind farm is expected to come online in summer 2019.  

Mitsubishi said the total project cost is estimated at JPY150bn ($1.3bn).

The project represents Mitsubishi and Eneco’s second 50-50 collaboration on a European offshore wind project, the first being the Netherlands’ 130 MW Luchterduinen wind farm, which came online in late 2015. In 2012 the two companies signed a strategic partnership agreement to work together in Europe’s offshore wind sector.

In a statement, Mitsubishi said it is stepping up its efforts in the wind sector as its business model shifts “from investing to managing in accordance with … the company’s current management strategy”.