Company sources said the vessel, built by China’s Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries, is en route to its first job, laying a 25-kilometre pipeline off Tanzania.

The vessel is operated by CNPC pipeline outfit CNPC Pipeline Bureau Sixth Engineering Company, and is equipped with a 1600-tonne capacity crane and living quarters for 376 people.

It is capable of working with 150 to 1500 millimetre diameter pipe in water depths of between five and 150 metres.

Before delivery, the unit carried out sea trials that included laying 200 metres of subsea pipeline.