Debmarine, Damen Shipyards Group commence with construction of advanced diamond recovery vessel
Debmarine Namibia and Damen Shipyards Group formalised their partnership that will see the construction of the MT 6027, which will be the most technologically advanced marine diamond recovery vessel in the world.
This was announced at a steel cutting ceremony marking the beginning of construction on the vessel, which will take around two years to build. According to Debmarine, at 177 metres (577 feet) long, the new vessel will be slightly larger than the current largest vessel in the Debmarine fleet, Mafuta. On-board features include a dynamic positioning system (DP2) based on a seven-thruster propulsion system powered by six generators of 3230 eKW each.
After an intensive tender process, Damen was able to secure the contract to construct the vessel and has since been working on design completion and on preparation of the Mangalia yard for the vessel’s construction.
Moreover, this is the first time Debmarine Namibia interacts with Damen as clients, the Mangalia shipyard in Romania has the largest capacity of all Damen’s yards, with a total of three graven dry docks up to 60 metres in width and 1.6 km total berthing space.
“So far, Damen’s newly build focus has mainly been on standardisation and in-house or own design vessels, along with various types of support and service vessels built for the offshore market. However, the facilities in Mangalia allow us to respond positively to Debmarine Namibia’s newly build enquiry: an engineered-to-order project with vessel dimensions beyond that built by Damen ever before,” said Damen’s sales director: offshore, Ruud van der Stroom.
According to Michael Curtis, Head of the AMV3 vessel project for De Beers Marine South Africa, De Beers Marine South Africa will construct the mission equipment, comprising a subsea crawler and diamond recovery plant, in South Africa in parallel to the vessel construction.
“Once the vessel is delivered by Damen, it will be sailed to South Africa where the mission equipment will be integrated into the vessel by De Beers Marine South Africa. Given the parallel path and complexity of the project, it is critical to work with the best shipbuilders who have a reputation for performance and on-time delivery,” Curtis added.
Damen will deliver the vessel platform in Mangalia and the vessel will sail on its own keel to Cape Town. After the integration of the mission equipment in Cape Town, the vessel is expected to deliver first diamond production in the second quarter of 2022.
Caption: Danie van Aswegen (Portfolio manager, Debmarine Namibia) is pressing the button to begin the steel cutting process.