Mitsubishi buys stake in delayed Eneco project

Long-term partnership announced by Dutch & Japanese firms

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A 50% stake in a 129MW Dutch offshore wind farm, being developed by energy firm Eneco, has been acquired by Mitsubishi. The deal is part of a "long-term partnership agreement" that will see the two companies collaborate on "other offshore wind activities in Europe".

The deal is the latest indication of Mitsubishi's intention to be a significant player in the European offshore wind industry, with the Japanese industrial giant confirming last week that it will invest more than €575m in four offshore wind cable projects being built by German North Sea electricity transmission operator, TenneT.

Mitsubishi is also developing its own offshore wind turbine, the 7MW Sea Angel, and has been in talks with Vestas about the possibility of joining forces on turbine design and production.

The Luchterduinen wind farm is planned for waters about 23km off the Dutch coast, between Noordwijk and Zandvoort. Construction will begin in July 2014 and will be completed in autumn 2015, Eneco said today. Last summer, the company was hoping construction would begin this year.

As previously announced, Luchterduinen will be powered by 43 Vestas V112 3MW turbines and the project will be built by Van Oord. Cable installation will be undertaken by Joulz.

The 129MW Luchterduinen project has been on hold – like many other Dutch offshore wind farms – for some time. Prospects for new installed capacity in Dutch waters have improved since last year's election of a new government, which wants to kick-start the country's offshore wind sector. The country boasts two offshore wind farms, with a combined capacity of 228MW.

Today's announcement will also see Mitsubishi partner with Eneco in the operation of its existing 128MW offshore wind farm, Princess Amalia. It is also possible that Mitsubishi will acquire stakes in Eneco's Belgian offshore wind assets and/or its UK project, Navitus Bay, which it is developing jointly with EDF. Progress has been slow on the Navitus Bay project in recent months, with concern about impacts on sea views from Dorset and the Isle of Wight prompting a re-design. Earlier this months groups both against and in support of the project protested on the sea front at Swanage.

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