Jan De Nul: Building the world’s first artificial energy island

By 2026, the world’s first artificial energy island will have arisen 45 km off the Belgian coast.

Jan De Nul photo

The Princess Elisabeth Island will be a key factor in both Belgium’s and Europe’s energy transition, as it will give access to massive amounts of renewable energy, making millions of people less dependent on fossil fuels.

“As part of the joint venture TM EDISON, we will join forces to build the energy island for transmission system operator Elia,” Jan De Nul said.

“We start our works at the offshore location with pre-construction dredging works, performed by a trailing suction hopper dredger. Afterwards, fall-pipe vessels install the rubble mound for the caisson foundations, as well as the scour protection and the slope of the first layer of toe protection along the perimeter of the island.”

“The final action before the installation of the caissons is the preparation and the levelling of the caissons’ filter bed by a fall-pipe vessel.”

Caisson installation is in the summer season of 2024 and 2025.

After correct positioning of each caisson, it is fully ballasted with water and sand-filled by pumping from a trailing suction hopper dredger.

Finally, to prevent waves from scouring and undercutting the caissons, a subsea rock installation vessel, a fall-pipe vessel and a multi-purpose vessel install the final layer of scour and toe protection.