Rolls-Royce to Power World’s First Seabed Mining Vessel

Rolls-Royce has secured a deal to supply six of its new B33:45 mediumspeed diesel generator sets to China’s Fuijan Mawei shipyard for configuration aboard the world’s first 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.

When the 227 metre long, 40 metre 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.

Mark Reeves, Marine Assets Corporation, Chief Operating Officer, said “this is very exciting to be building a ‘world’s first’ again, and we have a long history of using Rolls-Royce power.”

“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,” said John Knudsen, President of Commercial Marine at Rolls-Royce.

“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.”

Each engine will also feature Tier III-compliant selective catalyst reduction technology.  Rolls-Royce will deliver the six 9-cylinder engines to the Fuijan Mawei yard from March 2016.

Three underwater mountable thrusters, two retractable Azimuth thrusters and two bow thrusters also form part of the supply agreement.

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