Jan De Nul Launches Next-Generation Jack-Up Vessel Voltaire

Jan De Nul Group has launched the Voltaire, a next-generation offshore jack-up installation vessel for offshore renewables and decommissioning, at the COSCO Shipping Shipyard in Nantong, China.

Jan De Nul
Source: Jan De Nul

The Voltaire will be the second and the largest jack-up vessel in Jan De Nul’s fleet.

The jack-up is due for delivery in the second half 2022, the same as the recently launched Les Alizés, and is expected to be welcomed by a global offshore wind industry that is already forecasting installation vessel shortages by mid-decade, according to Jan De Nul.

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Designed in-house, Voltaire is built to transport, lift and install offshore wind turbines, transition pieces, and foundations. The main crane with a capacity of over 3,000 tonnes will enable the vessel to construct the current and future generation of wind farms at sea.

The Voltaire is fitted with a high-tech jacking system and four 130-metre legs which support the vessel to achieve stable working conditions at water depths up to 80 metres and with an elevated load of 16,000 tonnes.

With lifting capacities of over 3,000 tonnes and 5,000 tonnes respectively, along with Jan De Nul’s existing subsea cable laying trio, the Voltaire and Les Alizés will have the capability to install the complete requirements of next-generation offshore wind, Jan De Nul said.

”The Voltaire will enable us to work in deeper waters and reach ever higher nacelle heights than before,” Philippe Hutse, Director Offshore Division at Jan De Nul Group, said.

”Adding Voltaire and Les Alizés to the fleet gives us the perfect set of vessels to execute the growing number of large and clustered international offshore wind projects. Our forward-looking view on market trends and the quick decision making to invest in this set of Next Gen installation vessels, have done us no harm. The Voltaire and Les Alizés have all the required specifications to meet the upcoming challenges in offshore renewables. We are proud to be recognised for the choices we made back in 2019, and look forward to continuing our journey, alongside industry leaders, through our contribution to renewable energy growth in the worldwide energy transition.”

The Voltaire will be deployed on the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, transporting and installing in total 277 GE Haliade-X turbines with up to 14 MW in individual capacity off the coast of the UK.

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Steve Wilson, Dogger Bank Project Director, said: ”We congratulate Jan De Nul on successfully launching its unrivalled Jack up Vessel, the Voltaire. This impressive installation vessel will play a critical role in the construction of all three phases of Dogger Bank Wind Farm when it enters service, demonstrating an innovative engineering solution to the growing challenge presented by larger and more technically demanding wind farms.”

The vessel’s main crane will be fitted with a Universal Quick Connector (UQC), developed by Huisman, and leveraging the expertise of Jan De Nul’s operational and engineering teams, resulting in safer offshore lifting activities, the company said.

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Compared to Jan De Nul’s other jack-up vessel, Vole au vent, the Voltaire has almost double the deck space. The larger deck space is expected to enable Jan De Nul to optimize installations at sea and to lower fuel consumption and emissions. Furthermore, the Voltaire will be able to run on second-generation biodiesel that reduces the fuel carbon footprint by up to 90 per cent.

In common with Les Alizés, the Voltaire is equipped with a dual exhaust filter system, removing up to 99 per cent 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. Together, these vessels will be the first two seaworthy installation vessels in the world with an extremely low carbon footprint, according to Jan De Nul.

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