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Construction begins on £100m Debmarine vessel

Debmarine Namibia has announced plans to build a new N$2.3 billion (£100 million) deepwater diamond exploration and sampling vessel – called the SS Nujoma.

The highly specialised and technologically advanced vessel will become the sixth ship in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and will be registered at the Port of Lȕderitz.

It will be built in Norway by the Kleven Verft shipbuilding group and is named after Namibia’s founding president, Dr Sam Nujoma. Construction begins now that funding has been secured from two local banks, Standard Bank Namibia and RMB Namibia, a division of the First National Bank of Namibia. The banks will cover 75% of the project cost. Delivery is scheduled for 2017.

Otto Shikongo, Chief Executive Officer of Debmarine Namibia, said: “I am pleased and proud that the three Namibian entities have united to make this project a reality for the long-term benefit of all our stakeholders and the nation at large.”

The 113 metre-long diesel-electric powered vessel will have a displacement of 12,000 tonnes and will accommodate a crew of 80. It has a helicopter deck suitable for Sikorsky S61s. As with other Debmarine Namibia vessels, the mining vessel (mv) SS Nujoma will be expected to remain on exploration operations for three years before returning to port for maintenance.

Debmarine Namibia is a joint venture marine diamond prospecting and mining company, owned equally by De Beers and the Government of the Republic of Namibia. Its other vessels are: Debmar Atlantic, Debmar Pacific, Gariep, Grand Banks and Mafuta.

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