Norwegian shipbuilding company Kleven has entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Namibia-based offshore diamond mining organisation De Beers Marine Namibia for the construction of a purpose-designed offshore mining vessel.

The vessel has been designed by Norway-based design company Marin Teknikk and is set to be built at Kleven’s yard in Ulsteinvik.

The 176m-long vessel will be deployed to support De Beers Marine Namibia’s seabed mining operations upon completion.

"At this stage it is an MoU, but both parties have every intention of turning this into a firm agreement during the first few months of 2018."

Kleven CEO Ståle Rasmussen said: “At this stage it is an MoU, but both parties have every intention of turning this into a firm agreement during the first few months of 2018.”

Kleven previously delivered a vessel named SS Nujoma to De Beers Marine Namibia in June last year.

The ship is currently the world’s largest deepwater diamond exploration vessel.

De Beers Marine Projects head Mike Curtis said: “With unrivalled sample quality and a fuel consumption 30% lower than expected, the SS Nujoma has been a success story for us from the start.”

Kleven also signed a deal with global luxury yacht designer and builder Lürssen last week for the delivery of a 100m-long explorer vessel for an undisclosed customer.

The vessels will be built, partly outfitted and technically finalised at Kleven’s Verft-based yard, which is located in Norway.

It will then undergo a full outfitting programme at Lürssen’s Blohm+Voss facility in Hamburg, Germany.