Nautilus Minerals Inc. announces that it has entered into a binding agreement with North Sea Shipping Holding AS to provide the specialist Mining Support Vessel ("MSV") for Nautilus' Solwara 1 Project in Papua New Guinea. North Sea Shipping is a leading Norwegian ship owner and operator in the offshore oil and gas industry. They will provide a 160m dynamically postioned specialist new build ship, on a five year charter basis with options to extend for another five years.
North Sea Shipping was selected from a short list after a competitive engineering evaluation. The build of the hull is already well advanced at one of Turkey's leading shipbuilders RMK Marine, based in Tuzla south of Istanbul. On completion of hull fabrication in July 2009, the vessel will be outfitted by Astilleros Barreras, at its Vigo yard in Northern Spain, with completion scheduled in June 2010.
The 160m vessel is 30m wide, has a draft of 7m and displacement of 14,200 tonnes. It has some outstanding features which make it ideal as a candidate for seafloor mining. These include a 400 tonne heave compensated crane which is capable of working at 2,500m water depth and total installed power of 21 MW which will allow it to satisfy both ship and mining equipment demands. The vessel can accommodate 120 people which is more than adequate for the marine and mining crew and has a deck area of 2,900m2 which will accomodate the mining equipment.
The value of the MSV contract is approximately US$125 million over the initial five year period.