Les Alizés; Credit: Jan De Nul Group

Jan De Nul Group, a company that provides services related to maritime infrastructure and which has its financial headquarters in Luxembourg, today announced that it is ordering a second next generation vessel for offshore installation: Les Alizés.

The order comes six months after the Group's investment announcement for the offshore installation vessel Voltaire. Together with Voltaire, this new vessel will be, according to Jan De Nul Group, in a super-size class of its own, capable of building the newest generation of offshore wind farms. Les Alizés, which will be ready in 2022, is equipped with a crane with a lifting capacity of 5,000 tonnes and equally impressive lifting heights.

Les Alizés will mainly be used for the construction of offshore wind farms, but the ship's crane also makes it well suited to the dismantling of offshore oil and gas platforms. Thanks to its size and lifting and loading capabilities, Les Alizés will also be able to transport and install many of the largest and heaviest wind turbine foundations to the offshore installation site in a single trip. This is also considered beneficial in terms of lowering fuel consumption and emissions. In addition, as a floating crane vessel, the ship will be able to install heavier and larger foundations into deeper waters and in more challenging soils.

According to Jan De Nul Group, this vessel investment is a response to the global trend in the offshore wind energy sector to design and install larger wind turbines. This new generation of turbine can reach more than 270 metres high, with blades up to 120 metres long, and sit on foundations up to 2,500 tonnes. The Group added that offshore installation vessels currently available on the market are experiencing great difficulties in installing these new turbines and their heavy foundations with their enormous dimensions and installation weights.

The vessel will be built at a shipyard of China Merchants Industry Holdings Co. Ltd., located in Haimen, Nantong City, China. As a subsidiary of China Merchants Group, this shipyard has a proven track record in supplying marine and offshore facilities, which gave Jan De Nul Group sufficient confidence to award this contract to CMIH.

Concerning on-board green technology, Jan De Nul Group has stated that it tool into account the environmental impact of the ship whilst designing it. For instance, the highly advanced dual exhaust filter system reportedly 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 the Voltaire are set to be the first seaworthy 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).

Jan De Nul Group added that Les Alizés will also have a Cleanship NDO7 label and a Green Passport EU label. The Cleanship label confirms that the vessel checks and minimises waste water and all other residual waste. The Green Passport label means that all materials and hazardous substances are mapped out during the construction phase, in order to facilitate the recycling of the vessel when decommissioning. Both certificates are issued by a specialised external agency.

As a reminder, Jan De Nul Group concluded an agreement on 5 July 2019 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.

For its part, the Voltaire was ordered at the beginning of April 2019 and will be delivered in April 2022. Thanks to its main crane with a lifting capacity of more than 3,000 tonnes, this jack-up vessel is aimed at helping the renewable energy sector to build the new generation of offshore wind farms. The vessel can also be used for the offshore oil and gas industry as well as for the decommissioning of offshore installations.

According to Jan De Nul Group, the fact that both the Voltaire and Les Alizés will mainly work for the renewable energy sector, and are both equipped with an advanced exhaust gas treatment system, ensured the eligibility of these investments for a green loan.