ECOsubsea, the sustainable robotic end-to-end biofouling solution welcomes the announcement of an innovative hull management tool “intertrac Hullcare” from leading marine coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel. AkzoNobel has identified the need to further support the maritime industry’s carbon neural roadmap and the huge opportunity that can be achieved with sustainable and well-planned but flexible hull maintenance.
ECOsubsea CEO Tor Østervold states, “Our decade long collaboration with AkzoNobel gives their customers the ability to plan maintenance with the peace of mind of sustainable collection and disposal of hull biofouling.”
A clean hull will glide through the water when a vessel is underway a lot more smoothly than one with fouling which will increase friction and therefore require more engine power to meet desired speeds. The use of high-performance coatings, big data analytics and the ECOsubsea system allows owners to meet and exceed industry standards, providing customers a full sustainability solution in every step of the value chain.
“ECOsubsea’s system works by having a robotic cleaning system, move over a ship’s hull, gently removing the fouling off the hull without damaging the vessel’s hull coating, and then capturing the debris for processing and safe disposal ashore. This is an important factor to keep this service available in ports that are increasingly concerned with their local water quality.” added Østervold.
ECOsubsea was formed in 2008 by the brothers Tor and Klaus Østervold to develop a prototype hull cleaning technology that could safely and efficiently remove hull fouling without leaving any fouling in the water. Tor Østervold won the Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur Award in 2013 from the leading trade show Nor-Shipping and the company won the WWL Orcelle Award later that year.
Further, the company has received a string of accolades for its environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient solutions, including: the Green Ship Technology Award, the Global Freight Award and the Seatrade Award. The company has been developing its technology in the UK port of Southampton winning contracts from leading ship owners. The Southampton based system has accumulated more than 4000 hours of service. It now has systems in different locations around the world.
The ECOsubsea system consists of a sophisticated and reliable remotely operated vehicle that moves along the ship hull. It’s unique cleaning system ensures the removal of hull fouling without damaging the hull coating. The system removes over 97% of all the fouling detritus which is then safely pumped ashore and can be used as biofuel.
A clean freshly painted new hull straight out of a newbuilding yard is the most efficient hull and allows the vessel to operate at peak efficiency, with the least amount of fuel consumed and with minimum emissions. However, over time all hulls, regardless of coatings, will see a deterioration of their effect as slime, barnacles and other aquatic species attach themselves leading to increase in drag and friction thus increasing engine power and fuel consumption to achieve a vessel’s desired speed.
Often vessels have hulls recoated during drydocks to reinstate performance level close to optimum. Owners are advised to inspect and clean hulls regularly between drydocks, with many charter parties including a clean hull clause. However, due to the environmental risks, port authorities and coastal states are banning or deterring hull cleaning methods without capture thus allowing the fouling and coating residues to be released into the ambient water.
Source(s) and Image(s): ECOsubsea
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