Photo: Jan de Nul's new Swordfish subsea trencher (Courtesy of Jan de Nul Group)

Jan De Nul books new subsea trenching vehicle

Jan de Nul Group has signed an agreement with the UK offshore technology supplier Osbit for the design and construction of a new subsea trenching vehicle.

Image showing Jan de Nul's new Swordfish subsea trencher (Courtesy of Jan de Nul Group)
Jan de Nul’s new Swordfish subsea trencher (Courtesy of Jan de Nul Group)

The delivery of a new subsea trenching vessel named Swordfish is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022, joining Jan De Nul’s fleet of three other trenching vehicles.

The Swordfish will be a high-powered subsea trenching vehicle that can be fitted with either a jetting installation, a mechanical chain cutter or a combination of both to tackle a wide variety of soil conditions and bury cables up to three or even three-and-a-half metres deep.

The Swordfish will be powered by two 300kW hydraulic power units, and two 300kW electric HP jet pumps, Jan de Nul said.

In jetting configuration, it will be capable of tackling soil strengths up to 125kPa, thanks to its 1,120kW of pump power.

In mechanical or hybrid mode, it will be able to cope with soil strengths up to 400 kPa, using its 400kW chain cutter tool and 420kW additional jetting power, according to Jan de Nul.

The trenching vehicle will be launched with a dedicated A-frame and hoisting winch from one of Jan De Nul’s offshore vessels, the company added.

Wouter Vermeersch, offshore cables manager at Jan De Nul, said: “The Swordfish makes the perfect addition to our existing fleet of trenching vehicles providing excellent protection for cables installed by any of our cable laying vessels.

“With its high power, the Swordfish will be able to bury the cables deeper and thanks to its hybrid mechanical chain cutting configuration the Swordfish can also tackle more challenging soil conditions, including hard clays up to 400kPa.

“This new investment, together with the recent acquisition of our cable installation vessel Connector, arms Jan De Nul Group for the energy transition of tomorrow”.

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Robbie Blakeman, joint managing director at Osbit UK, added: “We worked closely with Jan De Nul on specifications and drew from our in-house trenching expertise and proven technology base to develop this market leading subsea vehicle.

“We look forward to collaborating closely with Jan De Nul throughout this exciting project and delivering the Swordfish on time and fully operational for its first campaign”.