Debmarine Namibia’s new diamond exploration and sampling vessel, the mv SS Nujoma, has left the Port of Cape Town to start two week sea trials.
The NAD 2.3 billion (USD 139 million) ship arrived in Cape Town from the Kleven Verft AS shipyard in Ulsteinvik in Norway in August and has been fitted out with the sampling system.
The sea trials will test vessel performance with the new sampling system and it will then return to the Port of Cape Town for final completion works.
Commissioning is scheduled to start in Namibian waters in December 2016. An inauguration event is planned for the first part of 2017, the company informed.
Debmarine Namibia CEO, Otto Shikongo, said: “The mv SS Nujoma makes Debmarine Namibia operations independent as it is the first sampling vessel owned by the company. Debmarine Namibia has been chartering sampling services from De Beers Marine South Africa and a Namibian service provider.”
The sampling system was built in large modules with a combined mass of 2,200 tonnes, in parallel with the vessel construction in Norway.
Michael Curtis, project head for De Beers Marine, added: “This 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 been committed from the approval of the project in April 2015 to fast track the delivery.”
The mv SS Nujoma is the sixth vessel of the Debmarine Namibia fleet. The company currently has five diamond mining vessels, which operate in Namibian waters in depths of up to 140 meters.
The mv SS Nujoma, named after the founding president and father of the Namibian nation, Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, has a helicopter deck suitable for Sikorsky S61s, is diesel electric powered and can accommodate the crew of 80 people.