A consortium of Jan De Nul Group and Samsung C&T has won an HVDC cable installation contract. Jan De Nul will design, install, bury and supply protection of two cable clusters of almost 1000 km in total, the largest cable installation job in the company’s history. They will connect the islands Al Ghallan and Das in the Arabian Gulf to onshore converter stations at Al Mirfa and Shuweihat in Abu Dhabi.

The contract was awarded by a joint Venture of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), Electricité de France (EDF) and Kyushu Electric Power Japan. The two cable links are part of the larger Subsea Transmission System (Lightning Project) of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), and will connect Abu Dhabi’s onshore electricity grid to all ADNOC’s offshore production facilities.

The package awarded to Jan De Nul and Samsung is currently the first-of-its-kind HVDC (high-voltage direct current) submarine cable project in the Middle East and MENA region. The consortium’s contract value is USD 3 billion of which USD 725 million for Jan De Nul’s scope.

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Biggest cable installation contract to date

The first cable cluster, connecting Das Island to shore, comprises three 400 kV subsea cables of 135 km each. The second cluster, connecting Al Ghallan island to shore, concerns four 320 kV submarine cables of 125 km each. The commissioning of the project is scheduled for 2025.

Jan De Nul has a proven track record of installing subsea cables in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, UK, Greece, Taiwan, USA, Mexico and others.

‘This electrification project is the biggest cable installation contract in the history of Jan De Nul,’ says Wim Dhont, Manager Offshore Cables. ‘This project will entail many of Jan De Nul’s versatile expertises such as cable laying, dredging, jet-trenching, rock protection, landfall preparation, riser platform fabrication and offshore installation. With two of the world’s largest cable installation vessels in our fleet (the Isaac Newton and the Connector), we are well prepared for the future works in the DC and AC subsea cable markets.’

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With this strategic project, ADNOC and TAQA plan to significantly decarbonise ADNOC’s offshore production operations. Both parties have joined forces to support the United Arab Emirates in their net-zero targets.

The Lightning Project will replace the existing offshore turbine generators with cleaner and more sustainable onshore power sources from Abu Dhabi, such as solar panels and local nuclear power. This is said to reduce the carbon footprint of ADNOC’s offshore facilities by more than thirty per cent.

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