Jan De Nul Group has placed an order for a floating installation crane vessel from the CMHI Haimen shipyard in China.

To be christened Les Alizés, the ship will be used for the construction of offshore wind farms. It will also be capable of decommissioning offshore oil and gas platforms.

The vessel will be delivered in 2022 and will be equipped with a 5,000-ton (4,535.9-tonne) capacity crane from Huisman. It will have a deck loading capacity of 61,000 tons (55,338.3 tonnes) and a deck space of 9,300 cu m.

“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 crane vessel that floats, it will be able to install heavier and larger foundations into deeper waters and in more challenging seabed conditions,” said Jan De Nul.

The company added: “This vessel investment is a response to the global trend within the offshore wind energy sector to design and install increasingly larger wind turbines. This new generation of turbine can be more than 270 m high, with blades up to 120 m long, and sit on foundations up to 2,500 tonnes. The offshore installation vessels currently available on the market are experiencing great difficulties in installing these new turbines and their heavier foundations, with their enormous dimensions and installation weights.”

Earlier this year, Jan De Nul ordered the jack-up installation vessel Voltaire from China’s Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry. Like Les Alizés, this ship will be delivered in 2022. It will be fitted with a main crane that has a lifting capacity of more than 3,000 tonnes.

Jan De Nul reached an agreement for a green loan with a consortium of five banks – including KBC Bank, BNP Paribas, Fortis, ING Luxembourg, Rabobank and Belfius Bank – for the financing of both investments during July.

“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, ensures that these investments were eligible for a green loan,” said Jan De Nul.