Jan De Nul Group will acquire the offshore construction and cable-lay vessel Connector from Ocean Yield ASA. The Connector is one of the largest and most advanced subsea installation and construction vessels available in the world. The vessel will be officially transferred during the fourth quarter of 2020.

With the acquisition of the cable-lay vessel Connector, Jan De Nul Group further specialises in this offshore energy market as part of a running investment programme. It follows the order in 2019 of the new-build offshore jack-up installation vessel Voltaire and floating crane installation vessel Les Alizés.

‘The Connector has a very good reputation in the sector and is known as one of the world’s top tier subsea installation and construction vessels,’ says Philippe Hutse, Director Offshore Division at Jan De Nul Group. ‘It is capable of operating in ultra-deep water up to 3000 metres deep. Through the market consolidation involving this new investment, we now own and operate the largest fleet of dedicated cable-lay vessels.’

‘The Connector was operating on a long-term bareboat charter until February 2017,’ adds Andreas Reklev, SVP Investments of Ocean Yield ASA. ‘In anticipation of a market recovery, Ocean Yield has for the past years traded the vessel in the short-term market. Through this position we have realised that in fact an industrial setup is required to operate the vessel efficiently in the cable-lay market whereby total solutions can be offered including dedicated engineering and operations teams. As such, we believe Jan De Nul will be well placed to efficiently operate the vessel.’

Combination with Isaac Newton

Wouter Vermeersch, Manager Offshore Cables at Jan De Nul Group: ‘The Connector makes a perfect combination with our cable-lay vessel Isaac Newton. Both vessels are interchangeable with similar large carrying capacities thanks to similar dual turntable systems, while at the same time they each have their own specific characteristics that make them complementary. Our third cable-lay vessel Willem de Vlamingh completes our trio with its unique all-round capabilities including operating in very shallow waters.’

Jan De Nul Group now operates an offshore fleet comprising three offshore jack-up installation vessels, three floating crane installation vessels, three cable-lay vessels, five rock installation vessels and two multipurpose vessels.

The Connector’s specifications

The Connector, built in 2011, is a DP3 ultra deepwater multipurpose subsea cable- and flex-lay construction vessel. It has a proven track record of installing power cables and umbilicals using its dual turntables with a combined total pay-load capacity of 9000 tonnes, as well as risers using its two heave-compensated 400-mt and 100-mt offshore cranes. The Connector is also fitted with two built-in work class remotely operated vehicles (WROVs), which can work in water depths of up to 4000 metres.

The Connector has superior manoeuvrability and a high transit speed for worldwide operations. Thanks to its station keeping and stability capabilities, the ship can operate in harsh environments. Finally, the vessel has a very large deck area and crane coverage, turning it into the ideal platform to perform cable repairs.

Picture by Christopher Petersen.