Nexus Van Oord

Van Oord’s New Cable-Layer Operational

(With extra pictures) This weekend, Van Oord's first cable-laying vessel for constructing offshore wind parks, Nexus, was christened.

The vessel was built by Damen Shipyards Group at its shipyard in Galati, Romania. The modern vessel is nearly 123 metres long and more than 27 metres in the beam. The Nexus has been equipped with a cable carousel with a capacity of 5000 tonnes to install long export cables.

The deck layout is the result of in-house engineering and development in anticipation of future market requirements for challenging cable installation works. There are accommodations for ninety people on board. Nexus is the Latin word for connection; a suitable name for a ship that will connect offshore wind turbines with each other and to the mainland.


The Nexus was christened at the Wilhelminakade in Rotterdam. Apart from the Nexus, Van Oord's Svanen was also in Rotterdam, right next to the Nexus. The Svanen is a floating crane developed by Ballast Nedam. With its 8700 tonnes lift capacity, it is the world's most powerful floating crane. The crane is now owned by Van Oord and is deployed for the installation of offshore wind farms.

Gemini Offshore Wind Park

The first project for the Nexus will be the Gemini offshore wind park that will be built 85 kilometres off the coast of Groningen. The construction phase has started and it will be fully operational in 2017. The 600 MW wind park will consist of 150 wind turbines with a capacity of 4 MW each. After construction, the park will deliver electricity to more than 1.5 million people.

Van Oord is involved in the Gemini project in two ways. First, as a ten per cent shareholder in the project, and second as the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor that will build the wind park. The EPC contract encompasses supplying and installing the foundations, the entire electrical infrastructure, including the offshore and onshore high voltage stations, the cables, and the installation of the Siemens wind turbines.

Van Oord will be deploying several vessels, including the specially developed offshore installation vessel Aeolus and the cable-laying vessel Nexus, for the construction of the wind park. Van Oord hopes to further expand its role as an EPC contractor for the construction of offshore wind parks. To that end, Van Oord is investing in specialised vessels and recently acquired Ballast Nedam Offshore’s equipment and operations.

Below some extra pictures of the Nexus and Svanen in Rotterdam taken by SWZ Maritime editor Hugo Dill. Please click the pop-out link (the little squares) to view them in their proper dimensions.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.

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