DEME and Jan De Nul to build energy island off Belgian coast

Jan De Nul and DEME, both global players in offshore construction, will jointly build the energy island to be erected off the Belgian coast. Meanwhile, inflation has caused the price tag for the artificial island to rise seriously, high-voltage grid operator Elia announced on Tuesday.

According to Elia, Princess Elisabeth Island - as the energy island is officially called - will be "the world's first artificial energy island". The company, which will also manage the island, awarded the contract for its construction to a consortium of DEME and Jan De Nul. Both Flanders-based companies are world leaders in dredging and building offshore wind farms - and are each other's largest competitors. "Building the island alone would be very difficult," Julie De Nul, CEO of Jan De Nul, explains the collaboration.

Foundational works will start in early 2024, and the island should be finished by August 2026. Elia is aiming for full connection capacity of its wind farms by 2030.

Princess Elisabeth Island should eventually supply the country with electricity generated by the many wind turbines in the North Sea. It will bundle all the power generated by wind turbines at sea and become a central connection point for future interconnectors (undersea high-voltage connections with Britain and Denmark, ed.).

When it first presented the project in October, Elia still counted on a price tag of 450 million euros. However, the figure has since risen towards 600 million euros due to increased raw material inflation and higher interest rates, confirms CEO Chris Peeters. The company will receive 100 million euros in European subsidies for the island's construction.

In October, Elia estimated the total cost of all new infrastructure combined - i.e., the island, interconnectors, and cables - at more than 2 billion euros.




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