The new generation heavy lift offshore crane and installation vessel Les Alizés was formally handed over by the CMHI Haimen (China Merchants Heavy Industries) shipyard in China on 16 January this year and set sail for Europe on 19 January 2023. From the Chinese shipyard, it went straight to Remontowa Shipyard SA in Gdansk.
The new generation offshore wind installation vessel left Chinese waters on 20 January and after 42 days checked in at the roadstead of the port of Gdansk. The Belgian shipowner brought her to the Gdansk-based Remontowa Shiprepair Yard for conversion, after taking delivery from the shipyard in China.
The Les Alizés heavy lift vessel is specifically designed for offshore renewables and decommissioning, especially for loading, transporting, lifting and installing offshore wind turbine foundations and is capable of installing XXL-size components in float mode and with ‘ultra-low’ emissions.
The main features of the vessel, include a 5,000-tonne lift capacity, a deck capacity of 61,000 tonnes and a deck space of 9300 m². It can easily transport heavier future foundations, several in one voyage, to the final offshore installation site. This brings direct benefits in transport planning, fuel consumption and emission reduction.
Les Alizés (IMO No. 9911032; GT 58,977, NT 17,693; deadweight 61,000 t) is a crane vessel with handling or installation operations carried out in floating installation mode, meaning that it is not dependent – as is the case with self-elevating vessels – on the depth of the body of water in which it operates nor the seabed conditions. The vessel is characterised by an overall length of 236.80m, a moulded breadth of 52.00m and a moulded depth of 16.00m.
The shipowner emphasises that after the vessel was ordered at the end of 2019, fine-tuning of Les Alizés’ design was still underway, and its versatility is to be seen above all in its innovative functional equipment, i.e. related to the vessel’s purpose. It will enable Jan De Nul to offer solutions for next-generation offshore wind farm installation projects while improving safety and efficiency.
This equipment is above all ‘highly innovative’, as the shipowner emphasises, the crane, one of the largest in its class equipped with a so-called universal quick connector (UQC) developed by the crane manufacturer, the Dutch company Huisman. The device was developed using the expertise of Jan De Nul’s operations and engineering teams, and the result is a ground-breaking, innovative UQC, marking a further technological step towards safer operations involving the lifting of large objects at sea.
Jan De Nul has an ongoing relationship with Remontowa Shiprepair Yard, commissioning various projects for its fleet, primarily dredgers and other specialist marine engineering vessels. One example of an unusual project was the completion by this shipyard of an unfinished dredger towed here from Croatia.
Photos and footage: Maciej Bielesz/PortalMorski.pl