Naming of offshore installation vessel Vole au vent

Ostend, 28 April 2016 – In the port of Ostend, Her Majesty the Queen of Belgium baptised today the new offshore installation vessel of Jan De Nul Group. The vessel was given the catchy name Vole au vent. Her Majesty the Queen wished the ship a safe journey. The ceremony took place in the port of Ostend, 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, 140 metres long and with an impressive Liebherr crane on deck, was baptised by the Belgian Queen amid great interest and in the presence of the family and employees of Jan De Nul Group and their guests, including Parkwind, the client from the Nobelwind project, worldwide partners from the industry, as well as national and international politicians. After the baptising ceremony, Her Majesty the Queen paid a visit to the bridge and crew of the vessel together with the 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 ship, the Vole au vent immediately returned to a nearby quay in the port to resume the activities for the Nobelwind project.

Acquisition of Vole au vent

In 2015, Jan De Nul Group consciously invested in this remarkable ship, aiming at being a quality partner in the offshore wind energy market. Jan De Nul Group continuously pushes its boundaries and strives for perfection in its professional trade. From civil engineering contractor to dredger, from environmental expert to specialist in high-tech offshore projects. Always continuing to build upon its core business.

Worldwide, Jan De Nul Group increasingly executes overall projects for offshore clients. Today, major projects are preferably coordinated by one contractor, from design to installation. Jan De Nul Group was already well equipped for the installation of cables and gravity-based foundations and for executing rock dumping works around these foundations. But Jan De Nul Group still missed a workhorse for installing the wind turbines itself. The opportunity to take over the Vole au vent in mid-2015 came exactly at the right time.

It is one of the largest vessels of its kind in the world. The large clear deck space and high loading capacity and the crane with a lifting capacity of 1,400 tonnes allow us to install the heaviest foundations and components of offshore wind farms in a fast and safe way. The vessel is equipped with four spud poles so that it can be jacked up above the water and work in a stable way, unaffected by the impact of waves. The ship can install all types of foundations and the latest generation of wind turbines at sea up to a water depth of 50 metres.

The vessel has been specifically built for the execution of offshore wind projects, but is also perfectly deployable for other offshore industries such as the oil and gas industry.