Today, the company has a strong position primarily thanks to its vision and courage. Courage of the founder, Jan De Nul, who grew from being a small contractor into an expanding dredging company. Also the courage of the next generation, which gives today the Group an impeccable worldwide reputation.

Jan De Nul started as a contractor of civil works. Anticipating the market opportunities which arose, the family De Nul took on its first dredging work in 1951. Soon after that, the first international dredging project was secured. The rest is history: over the ensuing years, Jan De Nul Group developed into a world leader in the dredging industry.

The Group would never have attained that position if it had not had the courage and vision to continue to invest in new equipment, a new dredging fleet, new employees and also new activities. In 1996, Envisan joined the Group as a subsidiary, having been established in 1992 and specializing in soil remediation and groundwater redevelopment. Together with the dredging and civil activities, it turned Jan De Nul Group into an all-round company. In brief, Jan De Nul Group is a company which is ready for the future.

Early 20th Century

1900   The family De Nul starts a joinery in Aalst.

1938   Jan Frans Jozef De Nul starts its own civil engineering company.


1951   De Nul executes a first dredging project: for the construction of the highway E40 in Jabbeke (Belgium), Jan De Nul dredged sand to build the road surface.


1968   De Nul purchases the trailing suction hopper dredger ‘Sanderus’ for the first project abroad, in Le Havre (France).


1973   De Nul executes its first project outside Europe, in Libya.

1976   The dredging project in the Harbour of Bandar Abbas (Iran) is the run-up to a whole series of important foreign assignments.


1991   De Nul is assigned its first offshore contract by order of Statoil Norway in Zeebrugge (Belgium).

1993   Jan De Nul is part of the consortium that executes the dredging contract of the century: dredging and reclamation works for the construction of the new airport of Chek Lap Kok.

1994   De Nul is awarded the Oscar of Belgian Export.

1995   De Nul signs the ten-year concession for deepening and maintenance dredging works in the Rio Parana and Rio de la Plata in Argentina (in the meantime, this contract has been extended).

1996   Environmental subsidiary Envisan joins Jan De Nul Group.


2000   Envisan executes its first big international assignment in Croatia: the rehabilitation of the dump site of Zagreb.

2002   Jan De Nul Group is awarded the contract for the dredging and reclamation of the second Palm Island in Dubai.

2007-2013   Jan De Nul Group plans the largest fleet extension in its history. 47 new vessels are built and delivered.

2009   Jan De Nul is awarded the Randstad Award for Most Attractive Employer of Belgium 2008.

2009-2014   Jan De Nul Group is part of the international consortium that builds the 6 new jumbo locks in the Panama Canal. The locks are a copy of the Berendrechtsluis in the Port of Antwerp, also a reference of Jan De Nul of 1989.

2010   Jan De Nul writes history and succeeds itself as Most Attractive Employer of Belgium 2009.

2010   Jan De Nul recruits its 500th engineer.


2012   PSR Brownfield Developers joins Jan De Nul Group. 


2015    Algemene Ondernemingen SOETAERT nv joins Jan De Nul Group. A few new orders are placed to expand its fleet: one for its largest Cutter Suction Dredger and another one for two Rock Installation Vessels. Envisan’s first treatment centre for soils and sediments in France is inaugurated.

2016    Naming Ceremony of Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Vole au vent. The Group wins two DPC Innovation Awards, one for Project Design in Open Water (trenching tools Sunfish and Moonfish) and another for Project Design in Inland Dredging (engineered sediments for flood control dyke construction).

2017    Jan De Nul experiences an increased activity in the market of offshore renewables and launches Multipurpose Vessel Adhémar de Saint-Venant and its largest Cutter Suction Dredger Willem van Rubroeck. Another order for four Trailing Suction Hoppers, equipped with gas exhaust treatment systems, is placed. Above all, the Group pockets three DPC Innovation Awards: one for Dredger Design, one for Dredging Equipment and another one for Safety.

2018   Jan De Nul places another order for two Trailing Suction Hopper Dredgers, equipped with exhaust gas treatment systems and acquires Wind Turbine Installation Vessel Taillevent to strengthen its position within the offshore wind industry. Milestone, the Group launches its first three Ultra-Low Emission Vessels (ULEv) Afonso de Albuquerque, Diogo Cão and Tristão da Cunha. Once again, the Group pockets a DPC Innovation Award for Coastal Dredging Project of the Year Award and the Environment Award of Lloyd’s List for our newest Ultra-Low emission Vessels.