Rolls-Royce has secured a landmark agreement to supply six of its new B33:45 medium-speed diesel generator sets to China’s Fuijan Mawei shipyard for configuration aboard the world’s first ever seabed mining vessel.
The pioneering vessel, designed by Singapore’s SeaTech Solutions for Dubai-based owner Marine Assets Corporation (MAC), will be powered by six B33:45L9A engines to provide 31.4 megawatts of power.
John Knudsen, Rolls-Royce, President – Commercial Marine, said: “This contract is a major step forward in the development of our new family of medium-speed engines designed to suit a wide range of ship types. We are very proud that the B33:45 generator sets have been selected to power this pioneering ship, which will be at the forefront of a whole new chapter in underwater exploration.
“Deep sea mining is an exciting new industry, and with our extensive pedigree in the offshore business, we look forward to working with Marine Assets Corporation and their partners in enabling them to become first movers in the extraction of valuable minerals from the seabed.”
When the 227 meter long, 40 meter wide mining ship is delivered towards the end of 2017, it will operate under long-term charter to Nautilus Minerals at the Solwara 1 project in the Bismarck Sea, offshore Papua New Guinea.
The vessel will be used to extract high grade copper, gold, silver and ore from the seabed in water depths of 1,600 metres.