Van Oord’s offshore installation vessel Aeolus will get a major crane upgrade. Huisman has been contracted to install a new, longer boom on the existing crane to allow the vessel to handle wind turbines up to 15 MW. The company decided on the upgrade to ensure that the vessel remains competitive.

The new 133-metre-long boom is being designed and built by Huisman. The Aeolus will be fit for duty with the new boom as from early 2023. The vessel will then be capable of installing the new generation 12-15-MW turbines while maintaining its lifting capacity of 1600 tonnes for foundation installations.

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Boreas and Calypso

The modification plan of the Aeolus fits in the strategy of Van Oord which is aimed to continuously invest in state-of-the-art sustainable technology. To keep delivering innovative solutions to the rapidly growing offshore wind industry, Van Oord also invested in a new offshore installation vessel, Boreas, and a cable-laying vessel, Calypso.

Mega jack-up vessel Boreas is currently being built in China and can operate on methanol. It can install wind turbines capable of up to 20 MW with a low carbon footprint. The vessel will be 175 metres long and can lift more than 3000 tonnes. In August, the steel cutting ceremony was performed and construction is running on schedule. Boreas is expected to enter the market in 2024.

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Calypso will be operational next year. This new DP2 vessel will be equipped with a below-deck cable carousel and a second carousel on deck, with a total cable-carrying capacity of 8000 tonnes. Apart from the ability to run on biofuel, this hybrid vessel has future-fuel ready engines with built-in flexibility to anticipate e-fuels. It will have a large battery pack, a shore supply connection and a state-of-the-art energy management system.

‘These investments prepare us for the increase in scale in the offshore wind industry, strengthens our leadership position and reduce our carbon footprint during offshore wind installation,’ says Pieter Van Oord, CEO of Van Oord.

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