Expected to be completed in 2022, the new vessel will be delivered to Debmarine Namibia


The Damen Shipyards’s diamond extraction vessel. (Illustration: Marin Teknikk AS)

ABB has secured a contract from Damen Shipyards Group to deliver an advanced and integrated power system for its custom-built diamond recovery vessel.

Being built by Damen Shipyards Group in Romania, at a total cost of $468m, the vessel is considered to the single largest investment ever made in the marine diamond industry.

It deploys advanced subsea crawling, a technique to recover diamonds from the seabed.

Expected to be completed in 2022, the new vessel will be delivered to Debmarine Namibia, a joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers Group.

Namibia is touted to have the richest known marine diamond deposits in the world, where Debmarine Namibia extracts some of the highest quality diamonds from water depths anywhere between 90 and 150m off the southwest coast of the country.

The 177m long ship was designed by Norwegian naval architects Marin Teknikk and it is expected to become the largest ship in the owner’s fleet, exceeding the size of Debmarine Namibia’s current largest vessel, the Mafuta, by 8,000 tons displacement.

The ship is expected to increase the company’s annual production by 35%, contributing to 500,000 carats to the present production levels.

ABB will deliver a large online double-conversion MUPS for ship’s vital control processes

ABB has agreed to provide an advanced system for power generation, distribution and variable speed drive propulsion systems.

The solution from the Swiss electric equipment-maker, also includes a large online double-conversion marine uninterruptible power supply (MUPS) to support the ship’s vital control processes.

The MUPS has also been designed for undisrupted availability, offering power backup for the vessel’s onboard control systems of the subsea-crawler and processing plant to sort through the sediment lifted from the seabed to extract diamonds.

ABB Marine & Ports managing director Juha Koskela said: “This is a truly special ship, packed with sophisticated technology, and a project demanding an especially close relationship with the customer to ensure that optimal solutions were delivered for exact specifications.

“We are thrilled to see that the team behind this advanced vessel recognizes the benefits of efficiency, safety and uptime available through integration. This success is also consistent with growing traction for ABB’s electric, digital and connected solutions across an increasing number of vessel types and operational profiles.”