In 2022, the global economy was confronted with a turbulent environment.
COVID-19 maintained a strong presence in Asia in the first semester, albeit in a less disruptive way. However, thanks to our operational knowledge, we managed to put our (offshore) activities in the region on the right track. This resulted in a timely high-quality delivery and good financial result.
2022 will also remain earmarked in history as the year of the armed conflict in Ukraine. It was the onset of major global unrest with an immediate, devastating economic impact. Skyrocketing energy prices and galloping double-digit inflation had and still have an impact on the cost levels of our ongoing projects and tenders. The financial markets and especially the dollar/euro exchange rate showed a rollercoaster pattern chased by rising interest rates. Moreover, the scarcity on the labour markets remained a given.
Despite this continuous uncertainty, 2022 fulfilled our expectations. Thanks to our operational management and supported by a well-stocked order book, we were able to achieve strong results:
- The turnover increased to 2.5 billion euro, our highest turnover ever. This enabled us to restore our EBITDA to 18% on turnover or 440 million euro.
- We translated our operational excellence into strong financial results. Jan De Nul Group booked a net profit of 108 million euro. Moreover, its balance sheet remained strong with a solvency of 63%, thanks to a complete profit reservation.
- We successfully delivered our two next-generation offshore installation vessels, Les Alizés and Voltaire. Both vessels are navigating to their first projects.
- Our order book, which stood at 4.6 billion euro at the end of 2021, grew to a whopping 6.45 billion euro at the end of 2022. A historic ground-breaking increase of 40%. The increased tender activities in the market and increasing number of orders continued unabated in 2023, resulting in a further increase of the order book up to 8.10 billion euro.
Jan De Nul Group proved that even in stormy periods it succeeded in sailing a steady course. This is only possible thanks to the passion and commitment of all our employees and to our shareholders’ determination to continue to invest in new markets and the associated needed vessel capacity.
ACTIVITIES IN 2022
The maritime dredging and offshore sector remains the cornerstone of Jan De Nul Group’s activities account for 81% of the total turnover of the Group.
The maritime dredging activities encompass capital and maintenance dredging works, port infrastructure works, land reclamation, coastal and shore protection works. In 2022, important capital dredging works were carried out in Bangladesh. Jan De Nul Group started with the deepening of the Rabnabad inner and outer channels for the further development of Payra Port. In Latin America, Jan De Nul Group is operating and maintaining the access channel to the port terminals of Guayaquil, Ecuador, under a 25-year concession contract. In Italy, cutter suction dredger Willem Van Rubroeck dredged a new basin, in combination with land reclamation for the Port of Bari. In Takoradi, Ghana, the port expansion, which included a new 600m quay wall, was completed. Finally, one of the various coastal protection works was executed in Brazil, in the form of beach reclamation along the shore of Matinhos.
In the offshore renewable energy market, Jan De Nul was actively involved in the construction of several offshore wind farm projects, both in and outside Europe. In 2022, Jan De Nul Group completed the Formosa 2 Offshore Wind Farm in Taiwan, which entailed the design, supply and installation of 47 WTG foundations, 4 export cables and 47 inter array cables. Closer to home, in Saint-Nazaire, our jack-up vessel Vole au vent transported and installed 80 wind turbine generators (WTG) for the first offshore wind farm in France. Next to the offshore renewables, the offshore activities encompasses cable and umbilical installation works, trenching, backfilling and rock installation works. A project that combines all these activities, is Hollandse Kust Noord and West Alfa. In three phases, Jan De Nul Group transports, installs and protects the submarine cables that connect the transformer stations of the offshore wind farms with the onshore electricity grid. There are four cables of a combined length of 230 km. The cables are buried by means of trenchers.
The civil activities remain a constant and solid part of Jan De Nul Group. The civil division has a wide variety of projects in its portfolio, with a focus on complex design and engineering projects. The type of projects ranges from buildings, over transport related infrastructures to water related infrastructures like quay walls and locks. The civil department offers its services to private clients, public parties and participates in Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
In 2022, the construction works for the Grand Hôpital de Charleroi continued. Furthermore, Jan De Nul Group is participating in the construction of the Oosterweel Link, through the construction of the Scheldt Tunnel (COTU), which is the connecting element in the link that closes the Antwerp Ring Road, and the Right Bank Link (ROCO), which forms the link between the Scheldt tunnel and the R1.
Envisan, the environmental division of Jan De Nul Group, focuses on environmental technology solutions. Envisan performs soil remediations on site or excavates the polluted soil and treats it in one of its six soil and sediment valorisation centres in Belgium and France. Activities in 2022 include the remediation of polluted soil from the former coal park of Les Awirs power plant, remediation works in the Walloon region and on-site remediation of the former Renault site in Vilvoorde. Jan De Nul Group’s project development division, PSR, develops sustainable solutions throughout its activities, which include brownfield development, conversion projects for un(der)utilised immovable properties, complex development projects and regular real estate development.
Jan De Nul Group is operating throughout the world. In 2022, the largest regional presence was noted in Asia and the Middle East, where thanks to both dredging and offshore wind activities 46% of the Group’s turnover was achieved. Traditionally, Europe represents a strong share of Jan De Nul Group’s turnover. In Europe projects executed across all Jan De Nul Group’s divisions reached a share of 33%. Finally, 18% of the Group’s turnover was realized in America, while the activities in Africa contributed for 3%.
HIGH SOLVENCY AND NET CASH POSITION
Jan De Nul Group continues to maintain its extreme robust solvency ratio throughout the years. For the financial year ending in December 2022, Jan De Nul Group demonstrated again a solvency ratio of more than 63%. The Group’s equity further increased to 3.08 billion euro, compared to 2.95 billion euro in 2021.
In 2022, Jan De Nul Group’s strong liquidity position was sustained. This despite its continuous strong investment policy. The Group has been net debt-free since 2014, with a net cash position of 133 million euro at the end of the year.
Over the past year, no less than four vessels entered the fleet, being two water-injection dredgers named Pancho and Cosette, one offshore support vessel, Symphony, and jack-up installation vessel Voltaire. Heavy lift crane vessel Les Alizés was subsequently delivered early 2023.
CONTINUOUS INVESTMENT PROGRAMME IN A MODERN AND VERSATILE FLEET
Jan De Nul Group traditionally targets to operate a modern and versatile fleet, both in its dredging and offshore activities.
- In the spring of 2019, Jan De Nul Group ordered the offshore jack-up installation vessel Voltaire from the shipyard COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry. The keel of this vessel was laid in March 2021 and it was launched in January 2022. Voltaire was delivered in December 2022, just in time for its very first assignment for the offshore wind farm Dogger Bank in the UK.
- In the autumn of 2019, Jan De Nul Group ordered the heavy lift crane vessel Les Alizés from the shipyard China Merchants Industry Holding Co. The keel of this vessel was laid in April 2021 and it was launched in January 2022. The vessel entered the fleet of Jan De Nul Group in January 2023. Les Alizés is now being prepared for its first assignment, where it will assist in the installation of the offshore wind farms Borkum Riffgrund 3 and Godewind 3. To optimally prepare Les Alizés for its future projects, Jan De Nul Group equipped the vessel with both a Motion-Compensated pile gripper and a Monopile Upending Hinge and Skidding System. These features will increase operational control during our operations, allowing a safe and efficient installation of next-generation monopiles with pin-point accuracy.
Both next generation offshore vessels were co-financed by a Green Loan. The Green Loan was structured according to the “Green Loan Principles” complying with the Loan Market Association (the sectoral association in which banks, lawyers and other financial parties are represented).
- During Q4 2022, Jan De Nul Group acquired the offshore support vessel Symphony. The vessel will predominantly assist the cable-installation projects of Jan De Nul Group and will be the home base for the Group’s trenching equipment.
- Also in 2022, two Water Injection Dredgers (WID), Pancho and Cosette, entered the fleet of Jan De Nul Group.
UNPARALLELED ORDER BOOK OF 6.45 BILLION EURO AND STILL INCREASING
The cornerstones of Jan De Nul Group, being its extensive high performance modern fleet and qualified and well-trained employees, together with the group’s financial strength, convinces clients to entrust Jan De Nul with their projects. At the end of 2022, this resulted in a record order book of 6.45 billion euro, coming from 4.6 billion euro in 2021. An increase of more than 40%. This trend continues during the first months of 2023 with a further increase to 8.10 billion euro.
Jan De Nul Group’s order book includes several major projects, only a selection is presented below:
Maritime and offshore division
- In June 2021, Jan De Nul Group signed a contract with Payra Port Authority relating to engineering studies, capital dredging and maintenance dredging of the access channels of the Payra Port in Bangladesh, including the turning basins, anchorage and berthing areas on the Rabnabad channel. The capital dredging works started during the second half of 2022 and will continue in 2023.
- In Ecuador, Jan De Nul Group holds a concession for the deepening and maintenance of the 95-kilometer long access channel to the port of Guayaquil. Having completed the deepening in 2019, Jan De Nul Group continues with the maintenance and the operation of the channel for the next 21 years.
- In the Philippines, Jan De Nul Group is continuously working on several large land reclamation projects in Manila.
- In Guyana, Jan De Nul Group participates in the project of Vreed & Hoop, which entails the dredging, reclamation, construction of a new shorebase, quay wall and access road and revetment works. This project is part of a master plan to help Guyana meet its strategic priorities to boost its economy along with helping the country expand key shipping and shorebase facilities to meet trade requirements.
- Mid-2022, Jan De Nul Group was awarded the EPCI-contract for the expansion of the existing Terminal Cuenca del Plata in Montevideo, Uruguay. In the course of 2023, Jan De Nul Group will start with the construction of a second container yard and quay wall.
- At the end of 2021, a joint Venture of Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), Electricité de France (EDF) and Kyushu Electric Power Japan has awarded a HVDC cable installation and convertors package for the ADNOC-TAQA Lightning Project in Abu Dhabi (UAE) to a consortium composed of Jan De Nul Group and Samsung C&T. Jan De Nul Group will be in charge of the design, installation, burial and protection of two cable clusters of almost 1,000 km in total, connecting the islands Al Ghallan and Das in the Arabian Gulf to the onshore converter stations at Al Mirfa and Shuweihat.
- In the United Kingdom, Jan De Nul Group is responsible for the transport and installation of 277 offshore wind turbines at the Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farms, 130 km off the Yorkshire coast, as from 2023. The transport and installation of the turbines in a period of three consecutive years will be done by Voltaire, the world’s largest offshore jack-up installation vessel built by Jan De Nul Group. The 3.6 GW Dogger Bank wind farm, which will be delivered in three 1.2 GW North Sea phases, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm upon completion and is a joint venture between SSE Renewables and Equinor. Dogger Bank will generate enough energy to power more than 4.5 million households each year, which is about 5% of the UK’s electricity needs.
- In October 2021, Jan De Nul Group signed a contract with Ørsted Wind Power A/S for the transport and installation of 107 monopile foundations and one offshore substation topside at Gode Wind 3 and Borkum Riffgrund 3 Offshore Wind Farms in German waters. The transport and installation will start in 2023.
- In the United States, Jan De Nul Group was selected by Vineyard Wind, a joint venture between Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, to supply and install about 210 km of inter-array cables for the Vineyard Wind 1 project, together with our subcontractor JDR Cable Systems, part of the TFKable Group. The 66V inter-array cables will connect 62 turbines to transfer electricity to an offshore substation for transmission to the grid.
- Early 2023, TM Edison, a consortium in which Jan De Nul Group participates for 50%, did win the tender for the construction of the Princess Elisabeth island, the world’s first artificial energy island. The energy island will be located about 45 kilometres off the Belgian coast and will bundle the wind farm export cables of the Princess Elisabeth zone as well as serve as a hub for future interconnectors with Great Britain and Denmark.
- Also in the early months of this year, Jan De Nul Group, as part of a consortium, was awarded a HVDC cable system portfolio for the electricity grid of TenneT. TenneT is heavily investing in the grid connections of offshore wind farms for both the Dutch and German energy grid. The combined DC cable length of the awarded portfolio is almost 2,000 km. Jan De Nul Group will transport, install and protect the cable system packages for BalWin 4, LanWin 1 and LanWin 5.
Civil and environmental activities
- In Belgium, Jan De Nul Group is part of the Scheldt tunnel construction and the Right Bank Link of the Oosterweel project. The Scheldt tunnel is the most important connecting element in the Oosterweel link and closes the Antwerp Ring Road on the north side. The tunnel has a total length of 1,800 m. Eight tunnel elements of approximately 60,000 tonnes each will be immersed in a pre-dredged trench in the River Scheldt. The Right Bank Link will connect this Scheldt tunnel with the R1 ring road both in northern and eastern directions.
- In Belgium, a new jail in Antwerp will be built by a consortium of Jan De Nul NV and EEG. This project is part of the federal government’s masterplan whereby detention and internment in humane conditions are provided. The new correctional facility will replace the existing obsolete Begijnenstraat jail. The new penitentiary will offer space for 440 detainees. The construction of the jail is a public-private partnership where the government partners up with private companies to realise the project. The Hortus Conclusus consortium takes care of the design, construction, funding and maintenance of the new jail. Construction will start in 2023 and will be completed in 2025.
- Jan De Nul Group is participating in the consortium for the construction of a new VRT house in Brussels. The new 65,000 m² VRT house will remain on the current site in the Reyerslaan and is described as a horizontal building with two stacked volumes. It is a compact building, integrated into the natural environment and with a limited ecological footprint. The delivery of this project is planned in 2026.
- In 2022, the Belgian Ministry of Defence engaged Jan De Nul to provide new infrastructure to house and maintain the new F-35A fighter jets. Jan De Nul will build two identical air force bases to house and support the new high-tech F-35 aircraft, one in Florennes and one in Kleine-Brogel. The first base in Florennes will be completed in just under three years. Two years after Florennes, the construction of the base in Kleine-Brogel will be kicked off, in order to keep the impact on the military operations at both bases under control.
- SPI.R0, a consortium in which Jan De Nul participates, was selected for the refurbishment of the traffic interchange on the Brussels Ring at Brussels Airport. Thanks to this facelift, the traffic interchange between the Ring (R0) and the Leopold III-avenue (A201) will happen only across one bridge over the Ring.
- At the end of 2022, the joint venture Be Defence of which Jan De Nul Group is part, was awarded the Design, Build & Maintain (DBM) contract for the new headquarters of Belgian Defence. The headquarters will be located straight across from the NATO-headquarters on a site of 11.4 hectares. The start of the works is scheduled for the end of 2024.