Transocean announced that one of its wholly owned subsidiaries has agreed to make an investment in Global Sea Mineral Resources NV (GSR) in exchange for a non-controlling interest in the company. GSR is the deep-sea mineral exploratory division of DEME Group NV and is engaged in the development and exploration of deep-sea polymetallic nodules that contain metals critical to the growing renewable energy market, and is a leading developer of nodule collection technology.
Transocean has agreed to contribute the stacked Ocean Rig Olympia for GSR’s ongoing exploration work, as well as make a nominal cash investment. In addition, Transocean expects to contribute engineering services on an in-kind basis. GSR intends to convert the Olympia for a system integration test scheduled for 2025 to validate the technical and environmental feasibility of recovering polymetallic nodules in ultra-deepwater on a commercial scale.
The technical challenges associated with the recovery of deep-sea polymetallic nodules offer an opportunity to combine Transocean’s unique ultra-deepwater operating experience with GSR’s proprietary technology in polymetallic nodule collection to deliver a commercially viable nodule recovery enterprise for GSR.
Critical minerals found in deep-sea polymetallic nodules such as cobalt, nickel, copper, manganese, and rare earth metals are essential for many applications, including the production of high-capacity batteries.
Ocean Rig Olympia is a Samsung S10000E ultra-deepwater drillship built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea in 2011. The unit started operations in West Africa in 2011, drilling for Lukoil and Vanco offshore Ivory Coast.
(Source: Transocean/DEME – Image: Ocean Rig Olympiua in 2011/Lukoil)