The construction of the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel; the Debmarine’s recovery vessel, is taking perfect shape after the installation of the helideck in Damen Mangalia Shipyard, Romania.
Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group, announced the approval of the construction of the vessel in 2019.
The vessel is estimated at a value of US$468 million (N$7 billion), and represents the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry.
The installed Helideck, has a diameter of 22.8m with a total weight 49.2 tonnes, this will be the largest in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and designed to accommodate helicopters of different specifications such as AW101, Sikorsky S92, and Sikorsky S-61 (MTOW 15600kg).
The latest development is an indication that the vessel is nearing construction completion and ready for pilot ocean launch end of November 2020, and geared for its maiden voyage to Cape Town, South Africa for mission equipment fitting early next year. The mission equipment consist of the recovery tool and processing plant of which parts of the steel works are being manufactured in Walvis Bay.
The bidding for the construction of the diamond recovery vessel was highly competitive, following an extensive global tendering process Damen Shipyards were selected to build the ship based on their strong track record for delivering quality vessels and their advanced technological capabilities.
The new vessel will be fitted with deck integrated latest technology fire-fighting system, deck helicopter navigation lighting with circle and ‘H’ marking on top as per CAP 437 – standards for offshore helicopter landing areas.
The ship will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022. On completion, the vessel is expected to add 500,000 carats annually to Debmarine Namibia’s production, an increase of approximately 35 per cent on current production.
By Glenn-Nora Tjipura