ARDC NEV Sampling Treatment Plant – Marine Vessel SS Nujoma

Site: Brownfields


Unit Process


The MV SS Nujoma, a De Beers Marine Namibia owned vessel, is the largest and most technologically advanced marine diamond sampling and exploration vessel in the world. The ARDC NEV Sampling Plant, located on the deck, is used for sampling and exploration off the coast of Namibia.

Following its’ launch in January 2016, the vessel was sailed from Norway to Cape Town, where it was fitted out with its mission equipment, comprising of the sampling tool, the launch and recovery system, and the treatment plant. The treatment plant in turn comprises the following plant areas:

· Primary plant,
· Comminution plant,
· Dense media separation plant, and
· Final recovery

The plant was built in large modules on the quayside and lifted onto the vessel using a super-lift crane, where the heaviest module weighed 220 t. This philosophy enabled the fit-out onto the vessel and cold commissioning within a 3-month period after arrival of the vessel from Norway, followed by sea trials and hot commissioning.

Sizing and selection of equipment was done to facilitate fast processing and purge cycle targets. Sample integrity is paramount and no hang-up, material entrapment or retention could be allowed between samples.

Furthermore unlike the rest of the fleet which are ‘winch positioned’, this vessel has dynamic positioning which facilitates the faster sampling rate that is targeted for the SS Nujoma. This required fast processing and purge cycles for each sample within each of the unit processes, which underpinned the sizing and selection of equipment.

ADP was well suited to undertake this plant design as we have designed, built and commissioned numerous process plants for the De Beers Group over the past 20-years.

Also important was ensuring effective integration of all treatment plant components into the platform (the vessel). In this regard detailed integration and battery limits had to be carefully managed.

As with any project ‘Safety in Design’ was critical. With regards a ship there are more aspects to be taken into account and stringent worldwide standards such as SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) needed to be adhered to.

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