Dutch contractor Jan De Nul has moved ahead with plans to build a new supersize floating crane vessel, Les Alizés, in its second major investment in an offshore wind installation unit in the past six months.

Announcement of the new vessel, which follows the decision to construct the giant Voltaire jack-up — to be used at the UK’s 3.6GW Dogger Bank complex, will be built by China Merchants Industry Holdings’ shipyard in Haimen, China, for launch in 2022.

Named after the French word for “trade winds”, Les Alizés will have a 5,000-tonne lifting capacity and 9,300-square-metre deck able to handle 61,000-tonne cargo loads, making it well-suited to transporting batches of the heavier jacket foundations needed for the coming generation of ultra-large wind turbines.

“By ordering Les Alizés today, from 2022 we will have not one, but two offshore installation vessels that will be able to install the newest generation of offshore wind farms,” said Philippe Hutse, Jan De Nul’s offshore director, adding that “similar to the Voltaire, we have financed this investment by means of a green loan thanks to the green emissions reduction technology on board the vessel”.

Peter De Pooter, the company’s manager for offshore renewables added: "The order of the Voltaire was a first step in our strategy to install the newest generation of offshore wind turbines. With Les Alizés we want to further strengthen our vision and our belief in the future of offshore wind energy.”