The largest offshore jack-up installation vessel ever built, Voltaire, has just arrived in the port of Able Seaton, UK. Jan De Nul’s Voltaire was delivered at the end of 2022. Since then, it has been undertaking final preparations for its very first assignment: the construction of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm phases A, B and C.

In total, the vessel will be responsible for the installation of 277 units, making the combination of these three wind farm phases the largest offshore production facility in the world. Voltaire will sail out in early July to install the very first GE Haliade-X offshore wind turbine.

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Dogger Bank

The 3.6 GW Dogger Bank Wind Farm is being built off the East Coast of England in three 1.2 GW phases: Dogger Bank A, B and C. It is a joint venture partnership between SSE Renewables (forty per cent), Equinor (forty per cent) and Vårgrønn (twenty per cent).

SSE Renewables is leading on the development and construction of Dogger Bank Wind Farm, and Equinor will operate the wind farm on completion for its expected operational life of around 35 years. Once completed in 2026, it will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.

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14 MW turbines

Mid-2020, Dogger Bank Wind Farm and Jan De Nul Group announced the signing of the final contract for the transport and installation of the GE Haliade-X offshore wind turbines at Dogger Bank A and Dogger Bank B, 130 km off the Yorkshire coast. Mid-2021, the signing of the final contract for the transport and installation of 87 GE Haliade-X 14 MW offshore wind turbines for Dogger Bank C followed, 200 km off the Yorkshire coast.

Olly Cass, Dogger Bank Wind Farm Project Director: ‘As offshore wind technology grows in scale and power, the industry needs stronger vessels that are capable of meeting these engineering challenges. With its lifting capacity of more than 3000 tonnes and ultra-low emissions design, we can’t wait to see this next generation vessel take on the challenge of installing some of the world’s largest and most powerful turbines, as we head towards first power for Dogger Bank A this summer.’

When complete, Dogger Bank will generate enough energy to power up to 6 million UK homes every year.

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First Ultra-Low Emission installation vessel

Voltaire is the first seaworthy installation vessel to be an Ultra-Low Emission vessel. Named after the pioneering European Enlightenment philosopher, the vessel has a lifting capacity of 3200 tonnes.

The vessel is fitted with a highly advanced exhaust filtering system by means of a selective catalytic reduction system and a diesel particulate filter, making it the very first seagoing installation vessel of its kind to be an Ultra-Low Emission vessel (ULEv), moreover Stage V-certified.

Picture: The offshore jack-up installation vessel Voltaire is the largest of her kind in the world and is able to install the next generation of offshore wind turbines starting with the Dogger Bank wind turbines of +13MW and 14MW.

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