Marine diamond miner Debmarine Namibia’s new $139-million diamond sampling and exploration vessel, the SS Nujoma, was launched ahead of schedule on January 9 at the Kleven Verft shipyard, in Ulsteinvik, Norway, when the 12 000 t vessel slid down the slipway into the water.
The 113-m-long vessel will now undergo equipment outfitting before undergoing sea trials and final delivery from Kleven to Debmarine Namibia.
Debmarine Namibia is recruiting Namibian skilled and licensed seamen for the project, who will undergo training prior to the vessel handover.
The second part of this project, involving the subsea sampling system and treatment plant, developed in parallel by De Beers Marine, South Africa, will be installed on the SS Nujoma in the Port of Cape Town in the second half of this year.
The diesel electric-powered vessel has a helicopter deck suitable for Sikorsky S61s and can accommodate up to 80 crew embers. Once complete, the vessel will be the most advanced marine diamond sampling and exploration vessel in the world. It will be the sixth in the Debmarine Namibia’s fleet.
Commissioning in Namibian waters is scheduled for the first half of next year.
Debmarine Namibia CE Otto Shikongo says: “It was a pleasure to witness the successful launch of the vessel. Debmarine Namibia, with De Beers Marine South Africa, Kleven Shipbuilding Group and Marinteknikk Naval Architects has demonstrated world-class capability in producing this unique and highly innovative mineral exploration vessel.”
The SS Nujoma is named after Namibia’s founding President, Dr Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma.