21 Mar 2023
Authored by: Simon Doran, HullWiper MD
As awareness of the impact of human activities on the environment grows, businesses are facing increased demands to operate sustainably. Known for the impact of its activities on the marine environment, the shipping industry is under scrutiny. This includes concerns about air and water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and the spread of invasive marine species through biofouling on vessel hulls.
The shipping community is feeling the pressure to adopt more environmentally friendly practices and invest in new technologies and processes that can reduce the industry’s impact on the environment - such as using cleaner fuels, implementing energy-efficient technologies and adopting sustainable practices for hull cleaning and maintenance.
Regular cleaning of a vessel’s hull can offer several benefits for ship owners and operators. It can help ensure compliance with environmental regulations set by countries and international bodies, preventing the spread of pollutants in the marine environment and avoiding potential legal and financial penalties for failing to comply with environmental regulations. Additionally, a clean hull contributes to carbon emissions reduction by requiring less energy to operate the vessel and can lead to cost savings through improved ship performance, including reduced drag and enhanced fuel efficiency.
Given these clear benefits, how can ship owners and operators access sustainable hull cleaning solutions?
Shipshape and spotless
HullWiper offers a leasing scheme that allows interested parties to utilise our Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for eco-friendly hull cleaning services. The ROV can be used wherever it is approved for operation within port waters and where we do not already have an operational base.
Our comprehensive training package includes periodic on-site training throughout the lease term to ensure that all operators handle the ROV professionally and maintain the equipment properly. Our technical support group is available 24/7 to assist with technical and operational issues, and partners have access to our global sales and marketing team and our large global customer base.
The ROV’s innovative hull cleaning system is designed to remove fouling effectively and safely from vessel hulls without the use non-environmentally friendly methods such as abrasive materials like sand or grit blasting, chemical-based cleaning agents that are harmful to marine life and water quality, and divers with brushes or karts. Cleaning can be done day or night and during cargo loading/unloading operations and in most weather conditions. Captured residues are pumped into an onboard filter unit and deposited into dedicated drums onshore for safe disposal by a locally approved environmental waste company. The effectiveness of the filter system in cleaning waste has been verified by AMT International, an environmental analysis and consulting professional.
HullWiper leaves expensive anti-fouling coatings intact and does not harm the delicate marine eco-system. Its minimal impact on vessels’ antifouling coating has been extensively tested and confirmed by marine paint manufacturers including International Paint, Sigma Coatings, The Jotun Group and Chugoku Marine Paints.
Equipped with a camera and lightings, the ROV allows operators to monitor and record the entire hull cleaning process, allowing HullWiper to share video footage with clients along with a cleaning report. The footage can also serve as a useful tool for insurance and hull maintenance records.
Going green never looked so good.
Incorporating our eco-friendly hull cleaning solutions into an existing service portfolio, or a starting point from which to build a new business, provides a competitive advantage with hull cleaning services that prioritise sustainability differentiates businesses from competitors who do not offer environmentally friendly solutions.
The world of hull cleaning is changing in an industry now required to account for itself and with CII & EEXI. Hull cleaning is really the low hanging fruit, it is the simple tool for gaining further carbon credits and to tick all the ESG boxes and the added bonus is that the return of investment for having a hull clean can be as quick as a few days whilst having a much longer benefit. What’s not to like about a clean bottom?