Caption: mv !Gariep vessel. Source: De Beers Marine

UK-based Babcock International has been awarded a contract by De Beers Marine (a business unit of the De Beers Group) to undertake design development activity in support of the planned upgrade to the power and propulsion system on the offshore diamond vessel mv !Gariep.

The vessel is owned and operated by Debmarine Namibia – a joint venture offshore marine diamond prospecting and exploration company owned in equal shares by De Beers and the Government of the Republic of Namibia.

The design development activity, which will take place from Babcock’s engineering office in Rosyth, UK, will support modifications to the vessel system to allow the physical and functional integration of new generating plants, a new electrically driven propulsion system and the necessary changes to support auxiliary, structural and control systems.

Babcock will utilise its engineering, naval architecture and project management expertise to provide the design documentation required to complete the upgrade of the mv !Gariep.

Sean Donaldson, Managing Director for Babcock at Rosyth, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract by De Beers Marine South Africa and look forward to starting another engineering package of work for this important client.

“A team from our 560 experienced engineering and design resources will work to complete the vessel survey in South Africa and then complete the programme critical engineering and design for this re-engineering project from our new state-of-the-art engineering hub at Rosyth.”

The offshore diamond recovery vessel has previously undergone a number of conversion stages including a hull extension upgrade and multiple recovery equipment upgrade programmes. It is anticipated that the design work will be completed by November 2019.