Jan De Nul orders giant crane ship

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Les Alizés is equipped with a high-performance DP2 system.

Belgium based Jan De Nul Group has ordered a giant crane ship at the CMHI Haimen Shipyard in China. To be called Les Alizés, it is aimed primarily at installation of new generation offshore wind farms and will be equipped with a crane with a lifting capacity of 5,000 tons.

The order comes just six months after Jan De Nul’s ordering of a giant offshore installation jack-up vessel, the Voltaire, at China’s COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry shipyard (see earlier story).

Thanks to her dimensions and impressive lifting and loading capacities, Les Alizés will be able to load out, transport and install multiple units of the largest and heaviest wind turbine foundations.

In addition, as a floating crane vessel, it will be able to install heavier and larger foundations into deeper waters and in more challenging seabed conditions.


Jan De Nul says this latest vessel investment is a response to the global offshore wind sector trend to design and install increasingly larger wind turbines. New generation turbines can be more than 270 meters high, with blades up to 120 meters long and sit on foundations of up to 2,500 tonnes. Current installation vessels are experiencing great difficulties in installing these new turbines and their heavier foundations.

Peter De Pooter, Manager Offshore Renewables at Jan De Nul Group said: “The order of the Voltaire was a first step in our strategy to install the newest generation of offshore wind turbines. With Les Alizés we want to further strengthen our vision and our belief in the future of offshore wind energy. We want to be a major and enduring player in this sector. For that reason, we continue to invest in the further expansion of our offshore renewables department.”

Les Alizés is specifically designed for loading, transporting, lifting and installing offshore wind turbine foundations. The main features are a main crane of 5,000 tons, a deck loading capacity of 61,000 tons and a deck space of 9,300 sq.m. With these characteristics, Les Alizés will be able to easily transport the heavier future foundations, several in one trip, to the offshore installation site, with direct benefits in planning, fuel consumption and emissions reduction.

Les Alizés is equipped with a high-performance DP2 system.

Unlike the Voltaire, Les Alizés is not a jack-up and, as a floater, its capabilities are not limited by water depths and the seabed conditions.


The latest generation of Jan De Nul’s vessels is equipped with exhaust gas filtering technology that complies with the strict European EURO STAGE V guidelines for emissions on land and inland waterways.

The highly advanced dual exhaust filter system removes up to 99% of nanoparticles from emissions using a diesel particulate filter (DPF) followed by selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) for NOx removal.

As a result of these exhaust filtering systems, Les Alizés and Voltaire will be the first seagoing installation vessels in the world with extremely low emissions (Ultra-Low Emission Vessel or ULEv for short) and with EURO STAGE V certification (ULEv notation).


On July 5, 2019, Jan De Nul Group concluded an agreement for a green loan with a consortium of five banks, led by KBC Bank, for the financing of both investments. The consortium of five banks consists of KBC Bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING Luxembourg, Rabobank and Belfius Bank.

This is Jan De Nul Group’s first green loan, and KBC’s first syndicated green loan in the shipping sector.

A green loan must be used in its entirety to finance green projects.The fact that both new vessels will mainly work for the renewable energy sector, and are both equipped with an advanced exhaust gas treatment system, ensured that they were eligible for a green loan.

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