Fincantieri, Saipem in Deep-Seabed Mining Tie-up
Italian shipbuilding firm Fincantieri, and its compatriot energy services company Saipem have signed an agreement to promote the development of deep-seabed mining (DSM), i.e. the sustainable exploitation of deep-sea floors over 3,000 meters in depth.
The memorandum of understanding signed between the two companies sets the ground for a strategic partnership aimed at developing and pursuing business opportunities in the field of designing, engineering, building, and managing DSM systems.
"Deep-sea floors are rich in minerals, mostly sulfides (sulfur), cobalt crusts, and polymetallic nodules, all of which are essential to modern digital economy. There are no appropriate industrial extraction applications, however, that can enable mining companies to extend their activities in open water," Saipem said.
Thus, Fincantieri and Saipem decided to pool together their expertise to provide innovative solutions in the deep-sea mining space.
The first goal of the partnership will be to draw up an industrial plan containing evidence of the technical and economic feasibility and sustainability of new DSM projects.
"The agreement signed with Fincantieri brings together two Italian leaders involved in promoting deep-seabed mining. Saipem boasts innovative technologies, distinctive skills, assets and an outstanding track record in the sector that will be put to use in the joint project with Fincantieri with the aim of finding environmentally compatible solutions so that sea beds can be used sustainably” commented Stefano Cao, CEO of Saipem.
Fincantieri’s CEO, Giuseppe Bono remarked: “The minerals in underwater deposits will turn out to be essential, should we manage to move from a fossil-fuel-based economy to a green economy. Actually, many renewable technologies require huge amounts of metals that are available in high concentrations in deep-sea floors, and those who will be ready to encourage the use of such metals will move in this direction.’
Bono said: "Technologically speaking, these are extremely complex activities: the engagement of major industrial groups such as Saipem and Fincantieri will therefore help preserve the environment, thanks to their long-standing wealth of proven engineering and management experience and skills."