Just twenty days after Les Alizés, Jan De Nul Group launched the Voltaire, its new jack-up installation vessel for offshore renewables and decommissioning, at the COSCO Shipping Shipyard in Nantong, China. It will be the second and largest jack-up vessel in Jan De Nul’s fleet. Like Les Alizés, it is due for delivery in the second half of 2022.

Designed in-house, and pushing engineering boundaries, Voltaire is built to transport, lift and install offshore wind turbines, transition pieces and foundations. The main crane with a capacity of over 3000 tonnes will enable it to construct the current and future generation of wind farms at sea. Voltaire will also be available to the oil and gas industry for the decommissioning of offshore structures.

The Voltaire is a jack-up vessel fitted with a high-tech jacking system. Four giant legs of 130 metres support the vessel to achieve stable working conditions at water depths up to 80 meters and with an elevated load of 16,000 tonnes.

Also read: VIDEO: Jan De Nul launches its floating offshore installation vessel Les Alizés


With the increasing demand for decarbonisation and lower-cost green electricity, offshore wind turbine and foundation components continue to rapidly increase in size to a point where their dimensions have largely outgrown the current market installation capability.

Jan De Nul Group announced the order of the Voltaire, the world’s tallest and highly advanced jack-up installation vessel, and Les Alizés, a floating installation vessel with a lifting capacity of 5000 tonnes in 2019 anticipating the growth of offshore wind.

Philippe Hutse, Director Offshore Division at Jan De Nul Group: ‘The Voltaire will enable us to work in deeper waters and reach ever higher nacelle heights than before. Adding Voltaire and Les Alizés to the fleet gives us the perfect set of vessels to execute the growing number of large and clustered international offshore wind projects.’

Dogger Bank

The Voltaire already won its first assignment in 2020. It will mobilise to the United Kingdom for the construction of the 3.6 GW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, transporting and installing in total 277 GE Haliade-X turbines up to 14MW.

Also read: Jan De Nul lands third Dogger Bank Wind Farm contract

Safe and green technologies

The highly innovative main crane will be fitted with a Universal Quick Connector (UQC), developed by Huisman, and leveraging the expertise of Jan De Nul’s operational and engineering teams. The result is a ground-breaking innovative UQC, that will deliver a major step change in safer offshore lifting activities.

Compared to Jan De Nul’s other jack-up vessel Vole au vent, this new vessel has almost double the deck space. Not only is this vessel capable of loading the next generation of wind turbines and foundations, the larger deck space will also enable the company to optimise installations at sea and to lower fuel consumption and emissions. Furthermore, the Voltaire will be able to run on second-generation biodiesel that is said to reduce the fuel carbon footprint by up to ninety per cent.

In common with Les Alizés, the Voltaire is equipped with an advanced dual exhaust filter system, removing up to 99 per cent of nanoparticles from emissions using a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and reducing the NOx emissions and other pollutants by means of a selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) to levels in accordance with EU Stage V. Together, these vessels will be the first two seaworthy installation vessels in the world with an extremely low carbon footprint.

Picture: The Voltaire was successfully launched last week at COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry.