JUV Voltaire

Jan De Nul Orders Jack-up with Unprecedented Crane Capacity

Jan De Nul Group has ordered the Voltaire, its third offshore jack-up installation vessel, at Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry in China. 

With an unrivalled crane capacity of over 3000 t, this jack-up vessel will be able to build the offshore wind farms of the future and will also be deployable for the oil and gas industry, and for decommissioning of offshore structures. The vessel is set to be delivered in 2022.

Next Generation of Offshore Wind Turbines

Next generation offshore wind turbines can be more than 270 m high and are fitted with blades of 120 m long. Offshore installation vessels currently available on the market face difficulties installing these types of turbines due to the turbines’ sizes and installation heights, as well as the ever-increasing foundation dimensions.


The offshore jack-up installation vessel is named after the French writer, historian and philosopher François-Marie Arouet, known by his pseudonym Voltaire and as an icon of the European Enlightenment of the eighteenth century. Both Voltaire and the jack-up vessel are pioneers within their fields of expertise.

Meeting Upcoming Challenges

Philippe Hutse, Offshore Director at Jan De Nul Group: 'This investment is a logical step forward in the development of our offshore wind capacities. The third jack-up vessel will enable us to cope with our increased number of offshore wind projects worldwide. In addition, we recognize the global trend towards larger wind turbines for increased green energy demands. The Voltaire will have all the required specifications to meet the upcoming challenges.'

From top to toe, having the legs jacked and the main crane erected, the Voltaire is as large as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Emission Control Technology

The Voltaire will be an Ultra-Low Emission vessel (ULEv). ULEv's are equipped with a filtering technique for exhaust gases which complies with the stricter European land and inland waterways emission regulations Euro Stage V. For the Voltaire, this means it will run on gasoil while being fitted with a highly advanced exhaust gas filtering system by means of a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). Other vessels in the Jan De Nul fleet equipped with this technology are two trailing suction hopper dredgers and three more, currently under construction.

Key Features of the Voltaire

The Voltaire is specifically designed to transport, lift and install offshore wind turbines, transition pieces and foundations. The vessel will have better operational limits compared to the existing jack-up installation vessels.

Key features include a main crane of over 3000 t, an operating depth of approximately 80 m, a payload of about 14,000 t and accommodation for 100 persons. The vessel has four legs to lift itself above the sea level for stable working conditions and is equipped with a DP2 system.

Compared to Jan De Nul’s two other jack-up vessels, the Vole au vent and the Taillevent, this new vessel has almost 100% more deck space. Not only is this vessel capable of loading the next generation of wind turbines and foundations, the larger deck space will also enable Jan De Nul to optimise installations at sea and to lower fuel consumption and emissions.

Picture (top): The four legs with lattice structure will be able to operate in water depths of approximately 80 m.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

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

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