Press Releases

22 October 2008
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology

Azimuth Thruster Repair Work on
the Deep-sea Drilling Vessel Chikyu

The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC: Yasuhiro Kato, President) has begun repair and replacement work on the damaged Azimuth Thrusters of the Deep-sea Drilling Vessel Chikyu. The gear damage was found during regular maintenance inspections conducted from February to April 2008. The repair work is being carried out by the Sasebo Shipyard of Sasebo Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. The Azimuth Thrusters are 360 degree swiveling propellers used as part of the ship’s dynamic positioning system (DPS) to maintain ship’s position during drilling operations.

Work schedule:

22 October 2008 Begin repair work at Sasebo Shipyard, Sasebo Heavy Industries Co., Ltd in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
26 October
- 14 November 2008
In dry dock, replace two rear thruster gears. Carry out confirmation tests and sails for Kobe, Japan
19 November 2008
- End of February 2009
Remaining damaged thruster gears (4) replaced at the port of Kobe, Japan
Beginning of March 2009 Repair work completed after verification of sea trial tests

After repairs, several functional and operational tests will be performed from the middle of March, 2009, in preparation for IODP expeditions off the coast of the Kii Peninsula, Japan.

*1: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international marine research drilling program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of Earth by monitoring and sampling subseafloor environments. Through multiple platforms, preeminent scientists explore IODP principal themes: the deep biosphere, environmental change, and solid earth cycles. IODP has started since October 2003 funded jointly by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan and the U.S. National Science Foundation; with additional support provided by the European Consortium of Ocean Research Drilling; the People's Republic of China, Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Republic of Korea through the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources. IODP now has 21 member countries.


(For Chikyu))
Takeo Tanaka, e-mail:
Manager, Planning and Coordination Department
The Center for Deep Earth Exploration (CDEX)
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
(For Publication)
Noriyuki Murata, e-mail:
Manager, Planning Department Press Office
Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology