Wärtsilä to Repower De Beers’ Diamond Mining Vessel Debmar Pacific

De Beers Mining Vessel
De Beers mining vessel Debmar Pacific. Photo: Wartsila

Finnish technology firm Wärtsilä and De Beers Marine, the offshore mining unit of the world’s largest diamond miner, have signed an agreement to repower De Beers’ diamond mining ship Debmar Pacific.

The vessel, originally built in the 1970s, will be outfitted with new Wärtsilä gensets, extending the vessel’s lifetime and improving its reliability.

Debmar Pacific is engaged in diamond mining operations off the coast of Namibia.

With modern gensets, the lifetime of the vessel will be extended and its specific fuel oil consumption (SFOC) is reduced. In addition, the new equipment is more reliable and needs less maintenance, which will in turn reduce disruptions in operations and OPEX expenditure.

Debmar Pacific is owned and operated by Debmarine Namibia, a joint venture between De Beers Group and the Namibian government. Established in 2002, Debmarine Namibia is the only company in the world to mine diamonds offshore.

“Offshore mining operations require reliable, cost-effective power. By investing in efficient, modern generating sets, we can significantly improve the availability of Debmarine Namibia’s vessels and thereby increase productivity. In addition, we are unifying the engine base to Wärtsilä engines on some vessels, including a recently completed newbuild,” says Domingos Valbom, General Manager, De Beers Marine.

“We are happy to deepen our relationship with De Beers Marine and honoured by the trust they show us by choosing Wärtsilä to improve the reliability of one more vessel in their fleet. In addition, its fuel consumption will be lower, contributing to both better environmental performance and reduced total cost of ownership,” says Serge Begue, Vice President, South Europe & Africa, Services at Wärtsilä.

This agreement, signed in May 2018, expands the cooperation between Wärtsilä and Debmarine Namibia.

In 2017, De Beers Marine and Wärtsilä signed similar type of agreements to outfit new Wärtsilä gensets to Debmarine Namibia’s diamond mining vessels Grand Banks and Debmar Atlantic. Additionally, Wärtsilä is currently carrying out an engine control system upgrade project in Debmarine Namibia’s diamond-mining vessel Mafuta.