Jan de Nul prepares for bigger turbines with new vessel
Jan De Nul Group has ordered its third jack-up installation vessel, the Voltaire, at Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry in China. According to the Belgian offshore contractor, the ship will have an “unrivalled” crane capacity of over 3,000 tonnes and is set to be delivered in 2022.
The new vessel is ordered in response to the increasing sizes of offshore wind turbines. “The global offshore wind industry is developing the next generation of turbines, which can be more than 270 metres high and are fitted with blades of 120 metres long. Offshore installation vessels currently available on the market are facing increasing difficulties to install these types of turbines due to the turbines’ sizes and installation heights, as well as the ever-increasing foundation dimensions,” the company states.
The Voltaire, named after the French writer François-Marie Arouet, who was known by his pseudonym Voltaire and as an icon of the European Enlightenment of the 18th Century, will be ready for these new dimensions.
The vessel will be equipped with a DP2-system and a 3,000 tonnes main crane and will have a payload of 14,000 tonnes. Compared to Jan De Nul’s two other jack-up vessels, the Vole au Vent and the Taillevent, this new vessel has almost double the deck space. That enables the company to handle the bigger turbines and foundations, but also to optimize installations at sea and to lower the fuel consumption and emissions.
“Upon her delivery in 2022, we will be capable of efficiently installing the next generation of offshore wind turbine generators and foundations. We recognize the global trend towards larger wind turbines for increased green energy demands and the Voltaire will have all the required specifications to meet the upcoming challenges,” says Philippe Hutse, Offshore Director at Jan De Nul Group.
Offshore wind projects
Jan de Nul is currently working on several offshore wind projects. In Europe, it is working on the construction of the Northwester 2 offshore wind farm in Belgium. This wind park will feature the largest offshore wind turbines currently available on the market, with a power output of 9.5 MW and a rotor diameter of 164 metres.
As the first European contractor in Asia, Jan de Nul is also involved in the construction of two major offshore wind farm projects in Taiwan: the Formosa 1 Phase 2 OWF project for Formosa Wind Power and the Changhua OWF project commissioned by Taiwan Power Company.
For the Formosa 1 project, Jan De Nul just reached an important milestone by transporting all 20 foundation monopiles from the EEW SPC yard in Germany to Taiwan. The monopiles are currently on board of two heavy load transport vessels which have set sail to Taichung port, the marshalling harbour for the OWF project in Taiwan.