China building world's first deep sea mining vessel
Photo taken on Sept. 20, 2017 shows the construction site of world’s first deep ocean mining vessel in southeast China’s Fujian Province. (Xinhua/Song Weiwei)
The world’s first deep sea mining vessel is being built by a Chinese shipping firm, and is expected be put into use in 2018.
The vessel is being made by Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding (FMS) affiliated with Fujian Shipbuilding Industry Group, and is designed to work at a depth of 2,500 meters.
“It is unique in the world,” said Zhao Jinjie, chairman of the group.
The vessel measures 227 meters in length and 75 meters in height, and will integrate advanced technologies, including deep sea mining robots, a deep sea lift system, a water-storage system and a cargo-loading system.
It will provide living and working space for 200 people and can store up to 39,000 tonnes of ore.
The main body of the ship is basically completed and supporting equipment has arrived.
In 2014, FMS received an order and cooperated with a design enterprise from Singapore to build the vessel for a United Arab Emirates company.
The vessel costs about 500 million U.S. dollars and will be delivered to a Canadian mining company to explore deep sea metal ore in the West Pacific.
China is working on core techniques to detect at deep sea, and plans to master key skills in the commercial collection of natural gas hydrate in sea areas by 2020.