Global Top 8 Cable Laying Vessel (CLV) Companies [2023]

Monday, 11 December 23, 12:25

A cable laying vessel (CLV) is a deep sea-going vessel specifically designed to lay underwater cables on the ocean floor for electric power transmission, military, telecommunications, or other purposes.

A cable laying vessel (CLV) is a deep sea-going vessel specifically designed to lay underwater cables on the ocean floor for electric power transmission, military, telecommunications, or other purposes.

A CLV is otherwise known as a “cable layer,” “cable ship,” or a “cable laying ship.”

In 1866, the famed steamship SS Great Eastern successfully laid two transatlantic cables—securing future communication between Europe and North America.

CS Silvertown is another well-known cable ship that is said to have laid 1,500 miles of cable between Auckland and Sydney and the San Francisco-Honolulu Pacific Cable.

The two main types of cable ships are:

  • Cable laying ships
  • Cable repair ships

While cable laying ships are bigger with larger cable storage drums designed to lay new cables, cable repair ships are smaller and more maneuverable with the primary job of fixing or repairing broken cable sections.

Apart from cable transportation and installation, cable laying vessels are used along with trenching tools for digging in cables and umbilicals.

A CLV is fitted with a variety of equipment and systems, including a carousel system and deck equipment like an A-frame, a winch, a knuckle-boom crane, and a provision crane to conduct various subsea missions.

The new-generation cable laying vessels not only offer ample working spaces and recreational areas for crew and visitors but are also designed to improve overall project efficiency.

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Modern CLVs are equipped with advanced features like dynamic positioning and dynamic tracking systems to track the cable route precisely for laying underwater cable lines.

Furthermore, cable laying ships are considered key enablers of a carbon-neutral world by incorporating sustainable technologies into cable lay vessel development—significantly reducing harmful emissions.

CLVs are indispensable for various offshore oil and gas, offshore wind farm, telecom, and other applications.

Keep reading to learn more about the key players in the CLV market.

Global Top 8 Cable Laying Vessel (CLV) Companies [2023]

Global Marine Group

Prysmian S.p.A.

Jan De Nul Group






Global Marine Group

Founded: 1850

Location: Chelmsford, United Kingdom

With a legacy of 170+ years in deep and shallow water operations, the Global Marine Group is an industry-leading provider of engineering and underwater services for the O&G, offshore renewables, power, and deep-sea research sectors.

In 1860, Global Marine (under the Great Eastern banner) was credited with installing the world’s first transatlantic undersea cable.

Global Marine’s worldwide projects demonstrate industry-leading services across its three brands—Global Marine, CWind, and OceanIQ.

Global Marine

Global Marine provides subsea fiber optic cable installation and maintenance solutions to the telecoms and O&G sectors.

As a high-quality, strategic partner, Global Marine offers comprehensive installation, maintenance, and emergency repair solutions with proven capabilities to plan, install, bury, store, test, find, recover, and maintain subsea fiber optic cables.


CWind delivers wind farm project services, CTVs (Crew Transfer Vessels), and GWO (Global Wind Organisation)-accredited training courses to the offshore renewables industry.


OceanIQ provides best-in-class subsea cable data, route engineering, survey, and permitting and consultancy services for power cable installation and telecom projects.

Prysmian S.p.A.

Founded: 1879

Location: Milan, Italy

Prysmian Group (also known as “Prysmian”) is a world-renowned energy and telecom cable systems company with 100+ years of experience and a diversified business portfolio.

Operating in over 50 countries, the Group manufactures medium- and low-voltage cables for the construction and infrastructure sectors, as well as thousands of miles of submarine and underground cables and systems for power T&D.

Additionally, Prysmian Group produces a wide range of connectivity systems, copper cables, and optical fiber cables for data, video, and voice transmission for the telecommunications sector.

Over the years, Prysmian Group has undertaken a comprehensive HVDC development program of stringent testing and extensive trials.

Jan De Nul Group

Founded: 1938

Location: Aalst, Belgium

Jan De Nul Group (Jan De Nul) is a Belgian family-owned company specializing in the construction and maintenance of maritime infrastructure.

With expertise in marine and dredging works, as well as civil engineering, environmental, and brownfield development projects, Jan De Nul is considered a tier-one marine contractor offering overall solutions that shape both water and land.

Jan De Nul’s CLV fleet includes the Connector—one of the world’s largest and most advanced subsea installation and construction vessels with a proven track record of installing power cables, umbilicals, and risers.

The Connector can operate down to 3,000 meters of water depth with superior maneuverability and a high transit speed for worldwide operations.

Additionally, the Connector has a spacious deck area and crane coverage to enable high-voltage cable splicing.

While Jan De Nul’s Isaac Newton can install up to 10,700 t of cable in the cable-laying mode, Willem de Vlamingh is designed to operate as a CLV, a (rock) trenching vessel, or a combination of these modes.

Wrapping Up

In a broader context, structured cabling supports a building’s cabling infrastructure with several standardized subsystems. On the other hand, network cabling refers to the physical infrastructure connecting computers and other devices to a network.

Generally, underground cable laying uses the excavation method that involves digging a deep and wide trench, which is covered with a layer of sand and further with bricks and other materials to protect the cables against mechanical injury.

Installation of underground electric cables is a multi-step process, including conduit and manhole installation, as well as cable pulling and slicing.

Both onshore and offshore cable projects use diverse cable tray systems to support electrical cables, instrumentation, and tubing. In a related context, a cable tray is an open, trough-like structure used for cable and wiring inside a building or an outdoor installation.

Unlike a cable duct designed to protect cables from mechanical damage, a cable tray’s main task is to ensure easy, orderly, and safe routing of power and signal cables and wires.

When it comes to underwater or undersea cabling, a cable laying vessel becomes integral to interconnecting the world with a wide range of cable-laying services.

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