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China's pipe-laying ship to sail for South China Sea


14:50, May 18, 2012

QINGDAO, Shandong, May 18 (Xinhua) -- China's first deep-water pipe-laying crane vessel will set sail on its maiden voyage Saturday from the eastern port of Qingdao to the South China Sea.

A spokesman with the Qingdao marine affairs department said Friday that the bureau is completing final checkups of the vessel's navigational safety devices, emergency communications systems, fire-fighting and lifesaving capacities and anti-pollution facilities.

The ship, CNOOC 201, was developed by China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC). It is an auto-navigation crane vessel with a capacity of laying pipes at a maximum underwater depth of 3,000 meters and hoisting 4,000 metric tons of weight.

CNOOC 201 will be sent to the South China Sea to lay pipes at Liwan 3-1 Gas Field of 1,500 meters deep about 310 kilometers offshore southeast Hong Kong. It will also conduct other trial pipe laying operations in the sea.

CNOOC said it has invested 3 billion yuan (474 million U.S. dollars) for developing the vessel, which can lay 5 km length of pipeline a day. It can also carry 380 crew and workers.