World’s biggest diamond mining vessel on its way to Cape Town before Namibian commissioning
The largest diamond recovery vessel in the world, Debmarine’s new AMV3, left the shipyard in Romania nearly a month ago and is expected in Cape Town by the end of next week.
There it will be kitted with mission equipment before sailing for the waters off the southern Namib coast in Namibia.
Following the official handover held on 18 and 19 August at Damen Shipyards Mangalia, Debmarine Namibia’s new diamond recovery vessel departed on its four-week maiden voyage to Cape Town where it will receive diamond mining equipment before deployment in Namibia’s southern waters early next year.
“Today marks a significant milestone on the Debmarine Namibia calendar and for our country Namibia, as we witness the completion of the vessel, a significant phase that represents the largest ever single investment in the history of marine diamond recovery. We keenly await the arrival of this asset to join the rest of the fleet to recover marine diamonds safely and sustainably, while building a lasting positive legacy for Namibia.” said Willy Mertens, Chief Financial Officer of Debmarine Namibia during the delivery ceremony.
The successful delivery marks the end of a landmark project that began over two years ago. The ship was constructed by Damen Shipyards Mangalia, a Romanian shipyard that is part of the Damen group, and that can execute large, complex, custom-designed projects for mid-sized vessels.
This vessel will use sub-sea crawling extraction techniques to retrieve diamonds from the seabed which are then processed on board.
One hundred and seventy seven metres in length, it is now the largest diamond recovery vessel in the world and the new flagship of the Debmarine Namibia fleet. The vessel is expected to operate for at least 30 years.
The build involved many challenges, ranging from the onset of COVID-19 early in the project to the management of many subcontractors, each contributing their specialist skills and products.
Engineering challenges included the installation of a DP2 dynamic positioning system based on a seven-thruster propulsion system powered by six generators, to enable greater flexibility in the vessel’s operations. Project management was undertaken by De Beers Marine South Africa.
With the constraints of COVID-19 Damen also undertook the complete commissioning process, implementing incremental ways of working to ensure that it was all completed on time.
The AMV3 started her maiden voyage from the shipyard in Romania to the Port of Cape Town on 19 August 2021.