Diamond exploration vessel set to explore
After leaving the Port of Cape Town this week, the mv SS Nujoma diamond exploration and sampling vessel is scheduled to start commissioning in Namibian waters in December 2016.
The new, N$2.3 billion vessel left the port to start a two week period of sea trials well ahead of schedule. The mv SS Nujoma has been in the port since arrival from Norway on 20 August, where it was outfitted with a diamond sampling system.
Namdeb prospects that mv SS Nujoma will ensure sustainable diamond production levels long into the future and has created 140 new direct jobs for locals.
The two week sea trials will test vessel performance with the new sampling system and return to the Port of Cape Town for final completion works. Before coming to Cape Town, the vessel was in Norway where the sampling system was built in large modules with a combined mass of 2200 tonnes.
These modules were lifted onto the vessel using the second biggest super-lift crane in Southern Africa that is able to carry the heaviest module which weighs over 220 tonnes.
Debmarine Namibia CEO, Mr Otto Shikongo said that “The mv SS Nujoma, makes Debmarine Namibia operations independent as it is the first sampling vessel owned by the Company. Before that Debmarine Namibia chartered sampling services from De Beers Marine South Africa and a Namibian service provider.
The De Beers Marine Project Head Michael Curtis said that the unique and technically challenging, global project has been successful thus far in exceeding its objectives. “The project team understand how important the project is to our client, Debmarine Namibia and have stayed committed to fast track the delivery since the approval of the project in April.”
The project was able to maintain the momentum of the early completion of the vessel and the mission equipment modules, through the integration phase, placing the team in a satisfying position to deliver the project early. The close working relation between the project team and the client has ensured the success of the project to date. The mv SS Nujoma is the sixth vessel of the Debmarine Namibia fleet. Debmarine Namibia currently owns, manages and maintains five diamond mining vessels, operating in Namibia’s Atlantic 1 mining licence area namely, mv Mafuta, mv Grand Banks, mv Debmar Pacific, mv Debmar Atlantic and mv !Gariep. The Company is the largest miner of diamonds in Namibia contributing approximately 70% of the total Namibian diamond production, and is the largest contributor, as an entity, to the national treasury.