Jan De Nul Orders World’s Most-Capable Wind Turbine Installation Vessel

Voltaire offshore wind installation vessel
An illustration of the Voltaire. Image courtesy Jan De Nul

Belgian offshore construction and dredging group Jan De Nul has placed an order for its third and largest offshore wind turbine installation group at COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry in China.

The Offshore Jack-Up Installation Vessel, named Voltaire, will be built with a payload of approximately 14,000 tonnes and an unrivaled crane capacity of over 3,000 tonnes, making it the largest and most-capable vessel of its kind in the world and specifically designed to handle wind turbines that can reach more than 270 meters high and 120-meter-long blades.

The design was done in house with review from naval architects at KNUD E. HANSEN.

Delivery is set for 2022.

According to Jan De Null, the Voltaire will also be deployable for the oil and gas industry, and for decommissioning of offshore structures.

The Offshore Jack-Up Installation Vessel is named after the 18th-century French writer, historian and philosopher François-Marie Arouet, known by his pseudonym Voltaire.

Philippe Hutse, Offshore Director at Jan De Nul Group: “Upon her delivery in 2022, we will be capable of efficiently installing the next generation of offshore wind turbine generators and foundations. This investment is a logical step forward in the development of our offshore wind capacities. The third jack-up vessel will enable us to cope with our increased number of offshore wind projects worldwide. In addition, we recognize the global trend towards larger wind turbines for increased green energy demands. The Voltaire will have all the required specifications to meet the upcoming challenges.”

In addition to its size and capability, Voltaire will be environmentally compliant by taking the same highly advanced emission control technology on board as all other Ultra-Low Emission vessels in the Jan De Nul fleet.

Due to the fact that many offshore construction activities take place close to shore, sometimes near densely populated areas, the elimination of air pollution is a primary concern. The latest generation of Jan De Nul vessels are equipped with scrubber systems, specifically a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), in order to comply with the stricter European land and inland waterways emission regulations EURO STAGE V.

The same technology is already used on two of Jan De Nul’s trailing suction hopper dredgers as well as three more currently under construction. The Voltaire will, however, be the very first seagoing installation vessel of its kind to be such an Ultra-Low Emission vessel (ULEv) and, moreover, EURO STAGE V certified.

The Voltaire will be specifically designed to transport, lift and install offshore wind turbines, transition pieces and foundations. Key features include a main crane of over 3,000 tonnes, an operating depth of approximately 80 meters, a payload of about 14,000 tonnes and accommodation for 100 persons. The vessel has four legs to lift itself above the sea level for stable working conditions and is equipped with a DP2 system.

Compared to Jan De Nul’s two other jack-up vessels, the Vole au vent and the Taillevent, the Voltaire has almost double the deck space, making it capable of loading the next generation of wind turbines and foundations.