CHINA’S FIRST DOMESTICALLY BUILT DRILLSHIP COMMENCES SEA TRIALS
China’s first domestically built drilling ship has been officially named Meng Xiang (Dream). She started her trial voyage on Monday, marking a step forward for the country’s exploration of deep-sea resources.
With a length of 179.8 meters and a width of 32.8 meters, the ship can travel 15,000 nautical miles and operate 120 days without returning to port.
The ship, featuring high stability and structural strength, can operate in unlimited navigational areas worldwide and drill as deep as 11,000 meters in the sea.
China says the world’s most advanced ocean-drilling ship will launch on Friday – capable of harvesting energy-rich flammable ice from the ocean bed and conducting missions at depths near the deepest waters in the Mariana Trench.
State media said final preparations are under way on the home-grown drillship that will be used in part to extract gas hydrate – a crystalline solid that resembles ice, forms under immense pressure, and contains a lot of methane.
It could also become a commercially viable energy source – though not a green one – as the world’s largest oil and gas importer ramps up its maritime prowess, Xinhua reported.
(Source: South China Morning Post/Xinhua/china.org – Image Meng Xiang drillship/South China Morning Post)
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