Offshore construction and dredging company Jan De Nul Group has announced a significant agreement with German energy provider RWE for the long-term exclusive charter of its two next-generation offshore wind installation vessels.
The agreement comprises the exclusive use of the world’s largest jack-up installation vessel Voltaire and heavy lift vessel Les Alizés, for a period of four and five years, respectively. The vessels’ will be used for RWE’s current and future offshore construction projects, as well maintenance campaigns as required.
The collaboration is further supported by a Service Agreement, under which Jan De Nul Group will provide a range of in-house and market solutions and services to support and carry out installation campaigns for RWE.
Les Alizés has been chartered for a period of more than five years. Delivered in 2022, the vessel is a heavy lift crane vessel purpose-built for transporting, lifting and installing wind turbine foundations. With the ability to lift up to 5,000 tonnes and with a deck loading capacity of 61,000 tonnes, the vessel is capable of handling the world’s largest current and future offshore wind turbines. RWE plans to first deploy Les Alizés at its 1,000-megawatt Danish offshore wind project, Thor, with foundation installation due to take place in 2025.
Voltaire is the world’s largest jack-up installation vessel with a crane capacity of 3,200 tonnes and approximately 130-meter-long legs. The vessel has been chartered to RWE for more than four years starting in 2027. Subject to the project’s final investment decision, RWE plans to first use this vessel to install the turbines of its Hollandse Kust West VII wind farm off the Dutch coast.
“We are delighted to further step up our contribution to the worldwide energy transition through this long-term partnership,” said Philippe Hutse, CEO of Jan De Nul Offshore Energy. “This multi-year approach creates much-desired planning security for our state-of-the-art installation vessels and will allow safe and efficient installation of a large number of offshore wind farms. We look forward to the continued cooperation with our highly valued client RWE.”
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind, highlighted the need for increased offshore wind power in Europe to meet ambitious climate targets.
“We are already making a significant contribution and resolutely driving forward the future build-out of offshore wind in Europe and globally,” said Utermöhlen. “Through this strategic partnership, RWE has taken a big step in securing the necessary installation vessels and services to deliver our large-scale offshore wind farms Thor and Hollandse Kust West VII, as well as further projects to come. These kinds of agreements are exactly what we need against the backdrop of the challenging market situation.”
This latest framework agreement follows a previous agreements between the two companies, including on the construction of RWE’s offshore wind farm Kaskasi off the German coast in 2021 and 2022. More recently, Jan De Nul Group was awarded with the export and inter-array cable installation scopes on RWE’s Thor offshore wind farm.