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China delivers first deep-water submarine maintenance vessel

Updated: Jul 4,2018 5:07 PM     CGTN

China delivered its first deep-water submarine maintenance vessel in Guangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong province on July 4, according to CCTV News.

The homegrown vessel, named “Hai Yang Shi You 791”, acts like a guard of the marine environment. It was mainly developed to conduct underwater detection for offshore oil and gas pipelines, as well as to investigate marine disasters.

Construction on the ship began in January 2017. It is 66.3 meters long, 14 meters wide and 7.6 meters deep. With a maximum load capacity of 1,200 tons, it can navigate at a top speed of 13 knots (about 24.1 km/h) and can travel up to 5,800 nautical miles (10741.6 km).

It is expected to largely improve the country’s ability to probe and maintain submarine pipelines. Cutting-edge devices like a lifting flipper, a side scan sonar winch, a magnetometer winch and a remote operated vehicle (ROV) facilitate its role in carrying out multiple tasks – which include routine patrols, leakage and leakage point detection, diving operations and ROV detections, to name a few.

The vessel is said to be the first of its kind in the world.

“The vessel is gathering the functions of inspection, operation and maintenance,” the project manager told CGTN. “It’s fair to say that all the technologies actually exist in the world, but there is no single platform gathering all of them. This is the first platform not only in China, also around the world to gather all the hard techs on the same place.”

A submarine pipeline, one laid on the seabed or below, is a channel to transport gas or oil. It plays a significant role in exploiting, producing and exporting offshore oil and gas. The complicated undersea circumstances can lead to the damage or leakage to the pipelines, which is costly and hard to repair with traditional maintenance methods. With today’s delivery, the vessel will enhance the security risk management of the submarine pipelines, protecting the marine environment effectively.