Jan De Nul Group has placed an order for an extra-large cable-laying vessel at the CMHI Haimen shipyard.

Named Fleeming Jenkin, the vessel will be equipped with three cable carousels and a large hold for fibre optic cables, capable of laying up to four cables simultaneously. Two carousels are mounted on deck, with a third below deck.

The vessel will have a cable-carrying capacity of 28,000 tonnes, and will serve the renewable energy and subsea cable industry in installing cables over longer distances and in deeper waters. It is expected to be delivered in 2026.

The cable-laying vessel named after Henry Charles Fleeming Jenkin which was an active pioneer in offshore cable installation, is powered by engines that can run on biofuel and green methanol.

Jan De Nul Group stated that the cable-laying vessel is equipped with a powerful DP2 system, enabling her to operate steadily in deep, but also in shallow waters, thanks to an additional third bow thruster.

It is also designed to install longer and heavier cables, into ultra-deep waters up to 3,000 metres.

On the aft deck, it is equipped with a chute and a cable-laying wheel. In combination with the tensioners, the chute allows installation of cables in shallow waters, while the tensioners enable the vessel to handle and control cable tensions up to 150 tonnes.

Philippe Hutse, director offshore energy division at Jan De Nul Group, stated: “We stand firm in our belief in the energy transition. Following our previous investments in the jack-up vessel Voltaire and crane vessel Les Alizés for the installation of the next-gen wind turbines and their foundations, we now proceed with this magnificent cable-laying vessel. Thanks to her unprecedented capabilities, Fleeming Jenkin will be a perfect fit for the interconnector and export cable markets.”

Jan De Nul Group also revealed that contract negotiations are ongoing for key equipment to be delivered from Europe.

Jan De Nul’s offshore installation fleet will count four powerful and diverse cable-laying vessels, next to two offshore jack-up installation vessels, three floating crane installation vessels, five rock installation vessels and two multipurpose vessels.

Wouter Vermeersch, manager offshore cables at Jan De Nul Group, commented that “Fleeming Jenkin bundles all the cable installation expertise we’ve gained over the past decade.”