Luxembourg-based marine services company Jan De Nul Group has agreed to buy the offshore construction and cable-lay vessel Connector from Ocean Yield. The vessel will be officially transferred during the fourth quarter of 2020.

The Connector, previously known as Lewek Connector, is an advanced subsea construction & cable-lay vessel that was operating on a long-term bareboat charter until February 2017. 

Ocean Yield has, expecting a market recovery, for the past years traded the vessel in the short-term market. As the market has remained challenging, Connector has contributed negatively to both net profit and cash flow, Ocean Yield said.

“Considering the current weak outlook for the oil service segment and that an industrial setup is required to operate the vessel efficiently in the cable-lay market, Ocean Yield believes it is in the best interest of the company to dispose of the vessel as this will reduce the portfolio risk and improve net profit and cash flow. The sale will therefore strengthen the Company’s dividend capacity going forward,” the company said.

“…We believe Jan De Nul will be well placed to efficiently operate the vessel which we see leaving in an excellent condition after having just completed its 10-year dry-docking and class renewal surveys, “Andreas Reklev, SVP Investments of Ocean Yield said.

Ocean Yield said the sale would be cash flow neutral after settlement of debt related to the vessel. Ocean Yield will record a non-cash book loss related to the sale of approximately USD 70 million in the Q4 2020 financial statements, the company said.

Top tier subsea vessel

Commenting on the acquisition of the Connector, Philippe Hutse, Director Offshore Division at Jan De Nul Group: “The Connector has a very good reputation in the sector and is known as one of the world’s top tier subsea installation and construction vessels. She’s capable of operating in ultra-deep water up to 3,000 metres deep. Through the market consolidation involving this new investment, we now own and operate the largest fleet of dedicated cable-lay vessels. The Connector will further strengthen the Jan De Nul fleet for the future of offshore energy production.”

Wouter Vermeersch, Manager Offshore Cables at Jan De Nul Group: “The Connector makes a perfect combination with our Cable-Lay Vessel Isaac Newton. Both vessels are interchangeable with similar large carrying capacities thanks to similar dual turntable systems, while at the same time they each have their own specific characteristics that make them complementary. Our third Cable-Lay Vessel Willem de Vlamingh completes our trio with its unique all-round capabilities including operating in very shallow waters.”

The Connector, built-in 2011, is a DP3 Ultra-Deepwater Multipurpose Subsea Cable- and Flex-Lay Construction Vessel. The vessel has a proven track record of installing power cables and umbilicals using its dual turntables with a combined total pay-load capacity of 9,000 tonnes, as well as risers using its two heave-compensated 400 mt and 100 mt offshore cranes. The Connector is also fitted with two built-in WROV’s which can work in water depths of up to 4,000 meters.

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