Subsea technology company Seatools has delivered deep-sea mineral collection equipment for Allseas' Hidden Gem seabed mining ship.
Seatools was responsible for the engineering, manufacturing, and qualification of the electronics, instrumentation, and hydraulics for Allseas’ pilot polymetallic nodule collection vehicle. The vehicle will be part of a pilot nodule collection test conducted by Allseas, which is scheduled to take place in 2022 in the Pacific Ocean.
Allseas developed and manufactured the core nodule collection technology and surrounding mechanical assembly for the 70+ tons tracked subsea vehicle in-house. Seatools brought the nodule collector alive by the delivery of the entire hydraulic, electronic, and control system. This included the entire development trajectory including design, building, qualification, and testing.
Rutger Bosland, Project Manager Polymetallic Nodule Collection at Allseas: “Completion of the hydraulic, electronic and control system for our subsea nodule collection vehicle is a major milestone in the preparation of our pilot mineral collection operations. The complexity of the scope and timeline for delivery has challenged Seatools to step up and deliver a high-tech solution capable of excelling at water depths up to 5000 m.”
Jan Frumau, Managing Director at Seatools, said: “It makes us feel honored to play a prominent role in this pioneering project. The rigorous engineering approach has resulted in space technology quality levels and we are of the belief that we have equipped Allseas with state-of-the-art ROV and subsea technology. Seatools’ contribution underpins the value of our multidisciplinary engineering approach, and confirms our strength in high-end, mission-critical subsea equipment for leading offshore contractors such as Allseas.”
Back in October 2021, classification society ABS said it had been selected to class a former drillship that is being converted to a subsea mining vessel for Allseas.
The industry-first project will see Allseas’ 228-meter drillship Vitoria 10000, now renamed Hidden Gem, equipped with a deep-sea mineral collection system to recover polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor and transfer them to the surface for transportation to shore. The nodules contain high grades of nickel, manganese, copper and cobalt—key metals required for building electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy technologies.
The vessel, which arrived in Rotterdam in September to begin the conversion process, will become the first to be classed as a subsea mining vessel by ABS.