Debmarine Namibia, a joint venture between the government of Namibia and De Beers Group, has announced that it is to construct the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel.
Expected to cost US$468 million, the new vessel will represent the largest ever single investment in the marine diamond industry.
The ship will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is scheduled to commence operations in 2022.
At 177m (577ft) long, the new ship will be slightly larger than the current largest vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet – Mafuta (174m/571ft).
Constructed from a Marin Teknikk design, MT 6027 will be the most technologically advanced marine diamond recovery vessel in the world.
On-board features include a dynamic positioning system (DP2) based on a seven-thruster propulsion system powered by six generators of 3230 eKW each.
Once operational, 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.
Following an extensive global tendering process, Damen Shipyards was selected to build the ship based on their strong track record for delivering quality vessels and their advanced technological capabilities.
The new vessel will incorporate the latest marine technologies that will drive improved safety performance while optimising efficiency and utilisation rates.
“Some of the highest quality diamonds in the world are found at sea off the Namibian coast,” says Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group.
“With this investment we will be able to optimise new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand across the globe.”
The new vessel is expected to create more than 160 new jobs alongside Debmarine Namibia’s current workforce of 975 employees.