Jan De Nul connects Crete to the Greek mainland electricity network


When installing cables at a depth of more than 1,000 metres, the company from Aalst was faced with a real technical challenge. For decades, Greece had aspired to connect its largest island to the rest of its mainland electricity network.

Jan De Nul Group is one of the largest players in the world for dredging activities. With state-of-the-art equipment for installing cables in the seabed around the world, the Aalst-based company was entrusted with a large-scale mission by the Greek authorities: to install the interconnection over a distance of 135 km between Crete and the Greek mainland.

Crossing the Mediterranean Sea over such a distance and laying cables at a depth of nearly 1,000 metres is a real feat. The tensions during installation can be as high as 75 tons, which is fifteen times greater than on standard cable installation projects. Only the Isaac Newton ship with its exceptional carrying capacity was equipped for such a challenge.

The other major difficulty of this project was the nature of the Mediterranean sea bed. Since this area is mostly made up of rough rocks and extremely steep slopes, particularly resistant cables had to be designed to prevent sharp spikes or great variations in depth from causing the short cable to bend in places and become damaged.

In total, more than 12,000 tons of cable will have been laid on the seabed to provide the 135 km long interconnection Greece has waited for so long.