Part of European ‘Blue Nodules’ Consortium

ContiTech Oil & Gas has joined European Horizon 2020 project

May 2016 In February this year, a European Consortium launched a new European Horizon 2020 project: Blue Nodules. This project addresses the challenge of a viable and sustainable value chain to retrieve polymetallic nodules from the ocean floor. It will develop and test new highly-automated and sustainable technologies for deep sea mining with minimal environmental pressures.

The technical part of the project is dedicated to subsea harvesting equipment and in-situ processing of polymetallic nodules, both on the seafloor and on the sea surface. The operational part is dedicated to sea operations and logistics, including compliance and development of rules and regulations and the business case. The independent, dedicated environmental part will focus on environmental pressures and on an Environmental Impact Assessment. For all these parts, Blue Nodules builds on the results of the European FP7 projects, MIDAS and Blue Mining.

ContiTech Oil & Gas has joined this consortium, led by IHC Mining B.V. of the Netherlands, to focus on flexible jumper lines for the transport of material from the harvesting machine to the vertical transport riser and from the surface production vessel to the transport barge.

Peter Neale, Product Manager for Deep Sea Mining, is enthusiastic: “the project builds on the development being carried out by ContiTech for the world’s first commercial deep sea mining project, Solwara 1, which is scheduled to see Nautilus Minerals of Canada begin the commercial extraction of seafloor massive sulphides (SMS) from the Bismarck Sea offshore Papua New Guinea in 2018.”

Istvan Grepaly, Head of R&D at the ContiTech Oil & Gas facility in Szeged, Hungary, is leading the development of hose lines for Deep Sea Mining and highlights the differences between the two projects: “Whereas the Solwara 1 operation will be in around 1500 metres of water, the polymetallic nodules are typically found at water depths of between 4,000 and 6,000 metres, which poses a number of technical challenges.”

About Blue Nodules

Blue Nodules is a 4-year EU funded project and is part of the Horizon 2020’s Research and Innovation action. The project aims to develop ‘Breakthrough Solutions for the Sustainable Harvesting and Processing of Deep Sea Polymetallic Nodules’ and is granted for the call SC5-11c-2015 ‘Deep mining on continent and/or in sea-bed’. The consortium consists of 14 leading industry and research partners from nine European countries.

Polymetallic nodules

Polymetallic nodules