Following the award of the contract, Alewijnse has begun preparation for the complete electrical installation on board what will be the world’s newest and largest offshore diamond recovery vessel. Designated an Additional Mining Vessel (AMV) by its owner De Beers Marine Namibia (Pty) Ltd, the ship will be the most advanced vessel of its type ever constructed and the seventh member of De Marine Namibia fleet.

Alewijnse signs contract for electrical installation on board world’s newest and largest offshore diamond recovery vessel

Alewijnse is once again working with the Damen Shipyards Group, this time at Damen Shipyard Mangalia in Romania. This is the group’s flagship facility for the largest and most complex vessels including big offshore vessels and offshore structures.

Sophisticated systems

The AMV3 is an exceptionally complex vessel and the build involves partners from the mining industry as well as the maritime sector. Its function demands a wide array of sophisticated systems requiring electrical power, control and monitoring. Paramount among these is the latest sub-sea crawling technology that recovers the diamonds from the seabed. This involves a 300-tonne crawler machine which deploys a mechanical arm that moves in a horizontal arc, dredging material from the sea floor immediately below the hull at depths of around 130m. A large onboard processing plant then sifts the dredged gravel on board the ship, removing the diamonds and sealing them in metal canisters. Another large and complex system is the seven thruster, DP2 dynamic positioning system that will be powered by six generators of 3,230 ekW each.

The first steel was cut for the vessel in May 2019 and now Alewijnse is preparing to start work on board. A team of over 200 skilled technicians will work on the project until December 2020, and the vessel is due to begin work off the coast of Namibia in 2022.

Keys to success

Alewijnse project manager Cătălin Androne is leading the Alewijnse team. “We look forward to starting on board,” he says. “This is a new type of vessel for us and our first time at the Mangalia yard so we will be learning a great deal as we proceed, but it’s always good to be working with Damen. The time allowed for the works is very tight, but we are quite used to that! Good coordination and effective planning will be the keys to success and our own steelwork team will also be a valuable asset.”

“We won this contract based on our reputation and years of experience on special projects,” says Petrică Crăciun, sales manager at Alewijnse Marine Galati, “and we have worked with the Damen Group on challenging one-off projects before. This will be our first time at Damen Shipyards Mangalia but once again we will have the opportunity to demonstrate our know-how, flexibility and our capabilities beyond conventional ships and into sophisticated, special-purpose vessels.