10 April 2016

High tech application of Damen dredge pumps and valves

Damen Dredging Equipment is well known for its deliveries of standard dredging components. Usually, deliveries of items such as dredge pumps and dredge valves are for hopper dredgers or cutter suction dredgers. Recent deliveries were for a more exotic use: the Damen dredge pumps and valves have been fitted in remote operated deep sea mining vehicles.

These deep sea mining vehicles, also called Seafloor Production Tools (SPTs), have been manufactured by Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD). This UK-based company designed and built three SPTs, each for a specific task. The first machine, the Auxiliary Cutter, is a preparatory machine that deals with rough terrain and creates benches for the other machines to work; Damen delivered an electrically driven dredge pump type BP45-1100 for it, plus a number of dredge valves. The second machine, the Bulk Cutter, is more powerful and has higher cutting capacity. Damen delivered another dredge pump and dredge valve set for that. The third machine is the Collecting Machine which collects the cut material and pumps it to the next station. For this Collecting Machine, Damen delivered a customised cutter unit, 3 electrically driven dredge pumps type E-BP2320 as well as a number of dredge valves.

The three SPTs were shipped in early February to a test site in Oman. There all systems will undergo wet testing. The first mining operations are scheduled for 2018, where the deep sea mining vehicles will be working in Papua New Guinea on Nautilus’ Solwara 1 copper-gold mining project.

The delivery crowns the cooperation between SMD and Damen which spans almost a decade. The engineering teams of both companies work closely together integrating Damen dredge pumps in the SMD trenchers. These high-tech trenchers are used for preparing the seabed before laying, for instance a cable or gas pipe line. The Damen engineering team adds its dredge pump and dredge pipe routing knowledge to the impressive ROV knowledge of SMD, which results in specialist remotely operated trenching vehicles operating worldwide.

Damen Dredging Equipment is proud that its standard components are a vital part of the world’s first state-of-the-art deep sea mining vehicles.


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