Jan De Nul buys advanced construction and cable-lay vessel

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Connector [Photo; Jan de Nul/Christopher Petersen]

Luxembourg-based Jan De Nul Group reports that it is the buyer of the of the offshore construction and cable-lay vessel Connector. Last Friday, vessel owning company Ocean Yield ASA disclosed that it had sold the vessel and that it would record a non-cash book loss of $70 million on the sale.

“The Connector was operating on a long-term bareboat charter until February 2017,” says Andreas Reklev, SVP Investments of Ocean Yield ASA, “In anticipation of a market recovery, Ocean Yield has for the past years traded the vessel in the short-term market. Through this position we have realized that in fact an industrial setup is required to operate the vessel efficiently in the cable-lay market whereby total solutions can be offered including dedicated engineering and operations teams. As such, we believe Jan De Nul will be well placed to efficiently operate the vessel which we see leaving in an excellent condition after having just completed its 10 year drydocking and class renewal surveys.”

Jan de Nul did not disclose what it paid for the vessel, but said the acquisition marks a further investment in its offshore installation capabilities.

The Norwegian-built Connector, (delivered in 2011 as the AMC Connector and later named Lewek Connector), is a DP3 ultra deepwater multipurpose subsea cable- and flex-lay construction vessel. It has a proven track record of installing power cables and umbilicals using its dual turntables with a combined total pay-load capacity of 9,000 tonnes, as well as risers using its two heave-compensated 400 t and 100 t offshore cranes. The Connector is also fitted with two built-in WROV’s which can work in water depths of up to 4,000 meters.

Jan de Nul notes that the Connector has superior maneuverability and a high transit speed for worldwide operations. Thanks to her excellent station keeping and stability capabilities, she can operate in the harshest environments.

The vessel has a very large deck area and crane coverage, making it well suited as a platform for the performance of cable repairs.

Jan De Nul Group says that it is investing strategically in its offshore installation fleet. Acquisition of the Connector, follows the placing of orders last year for the newbuild offshore jack-up installation vessel Voltaire and floating crane installation vessel Les Alizés. Both those vessels were ordered with an eye to addressing the challenges of installing the next generation of very large offshore wind turbines.

Philippe Hutse, Director Offshore Division at Jan De Nul Group, says, “The Connector has a very good reputation in the sector and is known as one of the world’s top tier subsea installation and construction vessels. She’s capable of operating in ultra-deep water up to 3,000 meters deep. Through the market consolidation involving this new investment, we now own and operate the largest fleet of dedicated cable-lay vessels. The Connector will further strengthen the Jan De Nul fleet for the future of offshore energy production.”

Wouter Vermeersch, Manager Offshore Cables at Jan De Nul Group adds: “The Connector makes a perfect combination with our cable-lay vessel Isaac Newton. Both vessels are interchangeable with similar large carrying capacities thanks to similar dual turntable systems, while at the same time they each have their own specific characteristics that make them complementary. Our third cable-lay vessel Willem de Vlamingh completes our trio with its unique all-round capabilities including operating in very shallow waters.”

Jan De Nul’s offshore fleet now comprising three offshore jack-up installation vessels, three floating crane installation vessels, three cable-lay vessels, five rock installation vessels and two multipurpose vessels.

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