French electrification specialist Nexans unveiled plans to build what it describes as the most technologically advanced cable lay vessel in the world as it targets the growing US and European markets.
The Paris-listed company said the newbuilding, the third vessel in the company’s fleet, will expand its presence in both offshore wind and interconnection markets.
Nexans did not disclose the yard where the ship will be constructed or the price tag for the ship, which will have 13,500 tonnes of loading capacity and will be delivered in 2026. The company’s existing ships were built at Ulstein Verft in Norway.
“This new vessel will be the most technologically advanced cable layer ever deployed,” chief operations officer Vincent Dessale said in a statement.
“Fitted with a range of high-tech cable installation and burial equipment, it will enhance the capabilities of our subsea cable operations to tackle projects on an unprecedented scale.”
In Europe, Nexans scored a €1.7bn ($1.88bn) deal in May with TenneT, the transmission system operator for the Netherlands and much of Germany, for offshore wind farm projects. And then last week, the company secured a €1.43bn deal to work on the EuroAsia Interconnector between Greece and Cyprus.
In the nascent but fast-growing US offshore wind market, Nexans won a deal in October to supply and install cable for the Empire Wind 1 project off New York state, as Recharge has reported.
Since then, it has become increasingly clear that cable lay ships built outside of the US can operate in the country’s waters, under certain circumstances.
In March, officials with US Customs and Border Protection ruled that a cable lay vessel could work alongside a trencher support vessel without violating the Jones Act cabotage law, which requires ships be built in a domestic shipyard, owned by a US company and crewed by American seafarers.
The company said the planned newbuilding will build on the features of the 149-metre length-overall cable lay vessel Nexans Aurora (built 2021).
The ship will be equipped with three turntables and an array of subsea tooling, and it will be able to lay four cables simultaneously.
“This new strategic asset will support the Group’s long-term growth, consolidating its leadership in the interconnection and offshore markets,” Dessale said.
“It perfectly embodies Nexans’ strategy to electrify the future, and its innovative features illustrate our ever-increasing commitment to meeting our partners’ needs.”
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