WINDHOEK - When Debmarine Namibia’s N$7 billion (US$468 million) vessel is completed by the Dutch-based shipbuilder Damen Shipyards, it will represent the largest-ever investment in the global history of marine diamond recovery.
Debmarine Namibia yesterday confirmed its Board of Directors approved the construction of the world’s first ever custom-built diamond recovery vessel, which for now is called AMV3 (Additional Mining Vessel number 3) but will be renamed upon commissioning in 2022.
The new vessel will become the seventh vessel in the Debmarine Namibia fleet and is expected to add 500 000 carats annually to Debmarine Namibia’s production, representing an increase of approximately 35 percent on current production. This annual production figure is anticipated to add about N$2 billion to state coffers through taxes and royalties.
The new vessel is expected to create more than 160 new jobs alongside Debmarine Namibia’s current workforce of 975 employees.
“Debmarine Namibia continues to set new benchmarks in offshore diamond recovery. Namibians from all walks of life should take pride in the fact that their very own company is leading the world in marine diamond recovery,” said Otto Shikongo, Debmarine Namibia CEO.
Also present at yesterday’s announcement, the company’s Board Chairman, Dr Michael Humavindu, commented: “An investment of this magnitude, over N$7 billion, is what drives a country’s economy forward. This new vessel will boast some of the best technology iin marine diamond recovery and has improved features to comply with the requirements for a green passport, i.e. meeting certain environmental standards.”
Shikongo further noted Damen Shipyards was selected to build the new vessel based on their impressive track record for delivering quality vessels and their advanced technological capabilities. The new vessel will incorporate the latest marine technologies that will drive improved safety performance while optimising efficiency and utilisation rates.
Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo, said: “We note and appreciate the investment announced today by Debmarine Namibia. It is through investments like this we can continue to develop Namibia’s economy. As the government we will continue to do what we can to promote and encourage investment in the mining sector.”
Bruce Cleaver, CEO De Beers Group, stated: “Some of the highest quality diamonds in the world are found at sea off the Namibian coast. With this investment we will be able to optimise new technology to find and recover diamonds more efficiently and meet growing consumer demand across the globe.”
Photo: Debmarine Namibia
Planning ahead… Debmarine Namibia Board Chairman, Dr Michael Humavindu (left) and Debmarine Namibia CEO, Otto Shikongo, at yesterday’s announcement of the N$7 billion investment.
Photo: Emmency Nuukala