Jan De Nul is innovating with his Swordfish


The Jan De Nul Group, already a world leader in dredging, is developing the Swordfish, an underwater vehicle capable of digging deep trenches for cable laying across the sea.

Already boasting large-scale projects such as the construction of six new locks in the Panama Canal or the widening of the Suez Canal, the Belgian company wants to increase its competitiveness in this important market for laying cables under the sea floor. These include in particular those needed to transport to the mainland the electricity produced by offshore wind turbines which are becoming more and more commonplace with the ongoing energy transition.

In partnership with the British company Osbit Ltd, the Jan De Nul Group has therefore embarked on the construction of an ultra-modern underwater vehicle capable of digging trenches more than 3 metres deep on the sea bed. Called Swordfish, this very powerful machine will have a number of technical features which will enable it to tackle all types of soil on the seabed in order to burrow cables directly into the ground, thus limiting their number of operations.

The Swordfish will be operational from the first quarter of 2022. And like the Sunfish and Moonfish trenching vehicles currently in use, it too is expected to receive several industry awards for its innovative design.