Jan De Nul to lay 1,000 km submarine cable between Africa and Europe

Maritime contractor Jan De Nul is partnering with Australian Fortescue, a mining company and producer of green energy, to lay a 1,000 km long submarine cable between Morocco and Europe and transport renewable energy generated in North Africa to Europe.

A high-voltage cable between the two continents would enable Europe to tap directly into that potential without the many intermediate steps required for the alternative route. Green energy will be converted into hydrogen and other green fuels, such as ammonia, and then delivered to Europe by ship or pipeline.


Jan Pieter De Nul, CEO of Jan De Nul, and Dr. Andrew Forrest, chairman of Fortescue, signed an agreement in Rabat, Morocco. Both countries have been working together for more than 20 years and previously joined forces to build the world’s most efficient port in terms of loading speed in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

Jan Pieter De Nul: “The direct transport and use of green energy is one of the most effective ways to contribute to reducing energy needs worldwide. Thanks to our know-how, qualified and motivated employees and crews, and our versatile fleet of installation vessels – including the five best-performing cable-laying vessels in the world – we are ready to expand the energy transition.”

XL ships

Jan De Nul increasingly opts for the direct electric route with intercontinental power cables. The dredging group recently ordered a second so-called ‘XL’ ship to be able to lay high-voltage cables on the seabed over much longer distances.

The company now owns the two largest cable-layers in the world. They can each transport 28,000 tons of cables, a multiple of the 5,000 or 10,000 tons that most ships can handle.

Earlier this year, Fortescue entered into a joint venture with the Moroccan state-owned company OCP Group to produce hydrogen for green ammonia and fertilizer in Morocco using green electricity.


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