In the port of Ostend, Her Majesty the Queen of Belgium christened the new offshore installation vessel of the Jan De Nul Group this week.
The vessel was given the catchy name ‘Vole au Vent’. Her Majesty the Queen wished the vessel and her crew a safe journey. The ceremony took place in the Port of Ostend, which is the base camp for Jan de Nul Group’s project team for the Bligh Bank Phase 2 project, better known as the Nobelwind project.
The ‘Vole au Vent’, which is 140 metres long and has an impressive Liebherr crane on deck, was christened by the Queen of Belgium amid great interest and in the presence of the family and employees of the Jan De Nul Group and their guests, including Parkwind, the client of the Nobelwind project, worldwide partners from the industry, as well as national and international politicians. After the christening ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen paid a visit to the bridge and crew of the vessel together with the Jan De Nul family, Carl Decaluwé, Governor of West Flanders, Johan Vande Lanotte, Mayor of Ostend, and Bart Tommelein, Secretary of State. After the delegation had left the vessel, the Vole au vent immediately returned to a nearby quay in the port to resume the activities for the Nobelwind project.
In 2015 the Jan De Nul group consciously invested in the remarkable vessel aiming to be a quality partner in the offshore wind energy industry. The company continues to push the boundaries and strives for perfection in their trade markets. Constantly building upon its core business, from civil engineering contractor to dredger and from environmental expert to specialist in high-tech offshore projects. Worldwide, the Jan De Nul Group executes overall projects for offshore clients. Today vast projects are preferably coordinated by one contractor, from design to installation.
The company was already well equipped for the installation of cables and gravity-based foundations and for executing rock dumping works around these foundations – yet they still missed a workhorse for installing the wind turbines. The opportunity to take over the ‘Vole au Vent’ presented itself mid-2015. It is one of the largest vessels of its kind in the world. The large clear deck space, high loading capacity and the lifting capacity of 1,400 tonnes allows them to install the heaviest foundations and components of offshore wind farms in a fast and safe manner. The vessel is equipped with four spud poles so that it can be jacked up above water and work safely and unaffected by wave impact. The Vole au vent can install all types of foundation and the latest generation of wind turbines at sea up to a water depth op 50 metres.
The vessel has been specifically built for the execution of offshore wind projects, but is also deployable for other offshore industries such as oil & gas.