If all goes to plan, 2022 will see the delivery of Jan De Nul Group’s latest, ‘super-sized’ floating installation crane vessel, Les Alizés. This ship has been designed to handle the largest wind turbines on the market, some of which can measure up to 270m in height. Under build at China Merchants Heavy Industry, the 61,000dwt ship will feature an overall length of 236.8m, a breadth of 52m and a moulded depth of 16m.
The heavy-lifter will draw 10.5m max, and will feature a main Huisman crane with a maximum lifting capacity of 5,000tonnes at an outreach of 36m. This will be backed by an auxiliary model rated 1,500tonnes at 46m, capable of lifting 380tonnes at a water depth of 440m.
Working in cooperation with Jan De Nul, Huisman also developed a new technology, monikered the Universal Quick Connector (UQC), specifically for this model. The UQC is described as a “smart, modular and robust clamp”, fitted with an active rotation device and mounted inside the crane’s lower block. It enables the lifting of objects through a direct connection, “without intermediate rigging, and totally hands-free”, Huisman says. Meanwhile, the vessel’s cargo deck will span 9,300m2.
The engines will be supplied by MAN Energy Solutions, and will deliver a combined 43,200kW. The propulsive set-up will comprise: four 3,000kW azimuth thrusters; a pair of 3,250kW retractable thrusters; and a pair of 2,600kW bow thrusters. Les Alizés will be able to reach a top speed of 13knots.
Les Alizés will offer 120 single and 15 double cabins, and will also host a 22.8m-diameter helideck with a maximum payload of 14.6tonnes.