Giant Jan De Nul crane ship floated out

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Les Alizés is due for delivery in the second half of this year

The CMHI Haimen shipyard in China has floated out Jan De Nul’s giant crane ship Les Alizés.

Aimed at the offshore renewables and decommissioning market, it will be the largest heavy lift vessel in the Jan De Nul fleet, able to install super-large offshore wind components, in floating conditions and with ultra-low emissions.

Main features of the vessel include a main crane of 5,000 tons, a deck loading capacity of 61,000 tons and a deck space of 9,300 square meters.


The launch started on January 2 by flooding the dry dock in which Les Alizés was built. Once afloat, Les Alizés was moored alongside the adjacent quay wall.

The final phase of the vessel’s construction can now begin, including sea trials. Les Alizés is due for delivery in the second half of this year, in good time for her first assignment. This will be in Germany , where the vessel will work for Ørsted on the construction of Gode Wind 3 and Borkum Riffgrund 3 offshore wind farms, transporting and installing 107 monopile foundations.

“The construction of our offshore floating installation vessel Les Alizés is well on track.” says Philippe Hutse, director offshore division at Jan De Nul Group. “We can look forward to delivery later this year, so that we can continue to build the future of offshore renewable energy. Together with our offshore jack-up installation vessel Voltaire, which is also under construction in China, we will have the perfect set of offshore installation vessels that will be able to install current and future generations of offshore wind farms. This is how we offer our customers the most efficient installation solutions and results.”

Vessel in building dock
Les Alizés in building dock prior to float out


Since the ship was ordered at the end of 2019, the design of Les Alizés has been further fine-tuned. Jan De Nul is investing in innovative mission equipment that provides solutions for the next generation offshore wind installation challenges while improving safety and efficiency. These include:

“It is our continued philosophy to focus on operational efficiency and improving safety as the main objectives,” says Jan Van De Velde, head of the newbuilding department at Jan De Nul Group. “The universal quick connector, the innovative motion-compensated pile gripper and the fully automated monopile installation system perfectly fit into our strategy of having no manual deck intervention during installation.”


In order to reduce the vessel’s CO2 emissions, the power plant on board is a hybrid setup. The arrangement combines diesel-driven generators with battery and drive technology to optimize engine loading and to recover the potential energy returned from the heavy lift crane. To further reduce the carbon footprint of installation activities, the ultra-low emission vessel can run on second-generation biodiesel that reduces the fuel carbon footprint by up to 90%.

As an ultra-low emission vessel, Les Alizés is equipped with a highly advanced dual exhaust filter system, removing up to 99% of nanoparticles from emissions using a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and reducing the NOx emissions and other pollutants by means of a selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) to levels in accordance with EU Stage V regulation. Les Alizés and Voltaire will be the first two seagoing installation vessels in the world with extremely low emissions.

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