The launch of DEME subsidiary Global Sea Mineral Resources’ (GSR) Patania II, a purpose-built prototype nodule collector from the sea floor, has been delayed due to damage sustained to a critical cable during functionality testing. The resulting power failure has sparked an investigation and further testing of the prototype.
The umbilical cable is 5 km in length and contains specialised wiring to power, control and communicate with Patania II from a surface support vessel, as well as to hold the collector’s 25-tonnes weight.
GSR is currently investigating to assess the cause and extent of the damage to the cable and has therefore chosen to postpone the launch of the Pantania II for a few months.
The collector is part of a four-year independent transnational scientific research project GSR shares with the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans. Both are working together to study the environmental aspects of the seafloor minerals industry, for the benefit of all potential users.
As part of the JPI project, GSR is also gathering research in the Clarion Clipperton Zone, situated in the Pacific Ocean and the desired launch site of the Patania II.
With access to the German Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources contract areas, GSR can gather adequate environmental baseline information within the zone. After the launch, both areas will be revisited to study the potential effects on the deep-sea ecosystems and their environments.
Once the investigation has been concluded and there are no further issues with the Patania II, GSR in collaboration with JPIO will invite independent scientists to join the mission and monitor activities.