Nautilus Minerals awards Deep Sea Mining Simulator contract to Tree C
This week Nautilus Minerals and Tree C Technology B.V. have signed a contract for the supply by Tree C of a simulator and a Mining Site Monitoring System for the world’s first Seafloor Production System . Delivery is scheduled for the first half of 2017.
The simulator will facilitate the training of the operators of the three Seafloor Production Tools (SPTs). The SPTs will be deployed to mine the seafloor at 1600m water depth, at Nautilus Minerals’ Solwara 1 Project located in Papua New Guinea. Based on the actual control systems and consoles, built within a fully equipped 30’ sea container, the simulator offers a very realistic setting.
The planned mining operation at Solwara 1 is the first of its kind, using bespoke designed equipment and a new remote control system designed specifically for the SPTs. Effective control of the SPTs is essential for the success of the project. Recruiting and training of operators on the simulator will greatly assist to meet the required knowledge and skill levels before mining commences, and is intended to reduce the Company’s “learning curves” as it ramps up production.
The Solwara 1 subsea mining project is a complex, dynamic submerged operation. Successful execution of the mine plan is contingent on the safe and efficient manipulation of all of the elements of the Seafloor Production System depicted in the illustration. The simulator will enable operators to use the consoles and control software that will be used during the actual operation. The virtual environment will respond and behave as close as possible to the real world conditions at this depth requiring the best of simulation technology available today in terms of physics, hydrodynamic and wire dynamics engines. Tree C holds a strong reputation in these demanding areas.
Nautilus will employ an Operations Manager who will take overall responsibility for coordination of the Seafloor Production System. The Operations Manager will work with the vessel master to plan the required logistics around vessel moves necessary for safe and efficient mining operations. The Tree C developed Mining Site Monitoring System will be a critical tool to assist the Operations Manager by showing a simulated but actual view of the subsea mining assets and surface support assets in real-time. The Operations Manager will direct all SPT and equipment moves based on the Monitoring System since there will be no visibility due to turbidity and lack of light at this depth. Kevin Cain Vice President Projects for Nautilus Minerals says, “the simulator is another example of the innovative technology to be used by Nautilus in its first seafloor mining project. We are delighted to have a company of Tree C Technology’s experience and reputation building this exciting equipment and look forward to a lasting relationship with them.”
“We are delighted that we have been chosen to supply the simulator and Mining Site Monitoring System for this significant and prestigious project,” says Gerard Weder, CEO of Netherlands based Tree C Technology B.V. “The demands of offshore equipment simulation are constantly becoming more complex. We, at Tree C, work hard to understand our customers’ requirements and by extensive research and development ensure that we are always able to offer exactly the right simulator and remote handling technology for the job at hand“