China’s first deep-sea research institute opens at Hainan province
China has opened its first deep-sea research institute which experts said will be meaningful for resource exploitation and improvements to naval technology.
The Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering (IDSSE) located in Sanya, Hainan province passed an acceptance inspection and began official operations on Tuesday, authorities said on Wednesday.
The IDSSE is the first scientific research base for study of the deep seas and is also China’s first public platform for deep-sea research and technological experiments.
“The deep sea has a wealth of resources including mineral, biotic and petroleum resources, and there are more than 40 billion tonnes of petroleum in the South China Sea alone. Therefore, it is necessary to enhance scientific research capabilities there,” Gao Shu, director of the School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences at Nanjing University, told the Global Times.
Since 2012, Chinese scientists have participated in several research projects related to the South China Sea, including scientific voyages in the area.
Deep-sea research will also have military uses, as studies on complex marine environments can help improve naval technology, which is usually the most advanced military technology in a country.
The mother ship for a new deep-sea submersible was delivered to the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou, Guangdong province on May 5.
The 94-metre Tansuo 1 has a fully loaded displacement of 6,250 tonnes, and the submersible can reach a depth of 4,500 metres. It is expected to dive to the Mariana Trench for a research mission in the near future.