Following its sister vessel in 2009, the fall pipe and mining vessel Joseph Plateau was launched on Friday 3rd August 2012 at the Spanish shipyard Construcciones Navales de Norte in Sestao.
This 191.5 m long vessel will be used for precise rock dumping to a depth of 2000 m. The system for the unfolding of the fall pipe is extremely advanced and operates fully automatically. At the bottom of the fall pipe there is a ROV that accurately corrects the position of the lower end of the fall pipe. The vessel has a 31 500 t loading capacity, which makes it possible to dump 2000 tph of rock at a depth of 2000 m. The vessel can also accommodate 84 persons.
The Joseph Plateau will mostly be deployed in the offshore industry in which oil and gas pipes have to be installed at large depths: the vessel can level the seabed and dump rock up to a depth of 2000 m. The fall pipe can process boulders with a diameter up to 400 mm, which is more than any other fall pipe vessel on the market. The Joseph Plateau is also suitable for deepsea mining operations, i.e., for recovery of minerals from the seabed and cablelaying activities.
The ship’s godmother, Ms. Ann-Sophie Meuleman, daughter of Mrs. Isabelle De Sadeleer and niece of Mr. De Nul, cut the ribbon holding the traditional bottle, wishing the vessel and its crew a safe and prosperous journey. The bottle crashed, and accompanied by the sound of the horns of nearby vessels in the harbour, the Joseph Plateau slid into the water.
The vessel will be delivered at the beginning of 2013, and a first project has been scheduled.
New offshore contracts in Australia, Russia, Canada and the Barents Sea
New projects with a total value of more than €500 million were added to the order book of Jan De Nul Group during the past month.
The assignment for Chevron for the installation of the Wheatstone pipeline at the west coast of Australia is the largest contract. Before installing the pipeline, trenches must be dredged in the hard seabed. In order to protect the pipeline, it must also be covered with sand and rocks after installation. Furthermore, prelay rock berms have to be installed, enabling the new pipeline to cross existing pipelines.
In Canada, the traling suction hopper dredger Cristóbal Colón will execute a wellhead protection excavation in a water depth of 135 m in the Atlantic Ocean east of Newfoundland. This excavation will protect subsea oil installations from the impact of icebergs. The Cristóbal Colón is the only dredger able to dredge to a depth of 155 m.
At the east coast of the Siberian island of Sakhalin, the fallpipe vessel Simon Stevin installs umbilicals for Gazprom at 90 m water depth. These umbilicals serve to control the gas field manifolds from land. This gas field is now a priority development for Gazprom, because of an increased demand in Japan due to the shutdown of the nuclear power plants.
Further up the east coast of this island, the cutter suction dredger Fernão de Magelhães is dredging an access channel for Exxon. This channel will enable to bring in barges from the sea onto the shore with modules for the onshore drill site. The Fernão de Magelhães started the works as soon as the ice had melted sufficiently so that the client can make maximum use of the ice-free season.
In the Tatar Strait between Siberia and Sakhalin, Jan De Nul Group’s rock dumping vessels La Boudeuse and Willem de Vlamingh are executing rock dumping works to protect a subsea pipeline from ice floes crossing the strait. The rocks are loaded in the Siberian port Sovgavan. The pipeline guarantees the connection of the gas fields east of Sakhalin with the mainland.
Jan De Nul Group will sail even more up to the north, in the Barents Sea near Nova Zembla. The Group will execute dredging and rock dumping works to protect pipelines that are transporting gas from the Jamal Peninsula to Western Europe.
Recently, a first project has been awarded to be executed by the Joseph Plateau. Upon commissioning, the vessel will execute rock installation in Norway at a water depth of 420 m for the protection and stabilisation of a new pipeline.
Technical personnel and crew members
In the meantime, the company continues its search for technical personnel and crewmembers. Recently, Jan De Nul started a huge HR campaign in co-operation with Kamagurka, a Belgian cartoonist. The key role players in this campaign are his cartoon figures ‘Bert en Bobje’, very well known in Belgium.
The Group does not only need new talent to man these new vessels, but also at its sites worldwide.
Adapted from press release by Cecilia Rehn.