China’s First Ocean Drilling Vessel Officially Named and Commence Its Maiden Voyage

On December 18th, China’s first domestically developed ocean drilling vessel was officially named “Mengxiang” and made its maiden voyage in Nansha, Guangzhou, which marks an important step in China’s deep-sea exploration capability.

Ocean Drilling Vessel (ODV) belongs to China Geological Survey of the Ministry of Natural Resources. With a designed displacement of 42,000 tons, the vessel has the ability to operate in the unlimited navigation area of the global waters and the ability to drill as deep as 11,000 meters in the sea, and it is China’s first ultra-deepwater scientific research drilling vessel. It is designed by Marine Design & Research Institute of China (MARIC) and built by CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding.

The vessel was developed by China Geological Survey and more than 150 research institutes and companies. It has a gross tonnage of approximately 33,000 tons, a range of 15,000 nautical miles and a self-sustainability of 120 days.

While the drilling depth of the ship is the deepest in the world, it also has the world’s largest and most functional shipboard laboratory, with a total area of more than 300 square meters, covering nine laboratories for marine science, microbiology, paleomagnetism, etc. The ship adopts key technologies such as digital twins, which enable the monitoring of the whole process of drilling and mining operations, and the intelligent synergy of scientific experiments.

As a “national weapon” to guarantee national energy security and a “core weapon” to support the construction of a strong oceanic country, the vessel will provide equipment for the industrialization of deep-sea combustible ice exploration and mining.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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