Global Industry Alliance: An eco-protective partnership 

3 Dec 2020
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The Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety is a public-private partnership initiative of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) that brings together leaders from shipping, aquaculture, maritime, ocean energy, and other ocean-based industries to contribute to two key environmental objectives pressed by the IMO: decarbonise shipping and protect marine biodiversity. This can be achieved through improved biofouling management.

Along with CleanSubSea, ECOsubsea, Hapag-Lloyd AG and Sonihul, HullWiper is one of four founding members of the IMO’s Global Industry Alliance (GIA) and is working with the GloFouling Partnerships Project to assist in accelerating the research and development of technology solutions that help to prevent fouling on vessel hulls.

The pending issue

The presence of invasive aquatic species (IAS) is causing a growing amount of marine-related eco issues. These organisms attach themselves to the surfaces of vessels that are underwater and may cause damage to vessel infrastructure, marine life and our marine ecosystem. The ripple effect of this damage to global warming, economic losses for ship owners and operators, not to mention the risk it poses to human health, cannot be ignored.

Maritime activities such as shipping are pathways for the transfer of IAS through biofouling. Keeping a hull cleans plays a vital role in minimising the start and growth of IAS.  In 2011, the IMO took early action by forming and publishing the Biofouling Guidelines. These guidelines provide a global reference on how to effectively manage biofouling on all types of vessels.

In addition, the IMO Member States adopted the IMO strategy in 2018 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by the shipping industry by at least 50% by the year 2050. Keeping a ship’s propeller and hull free from biofouling helps to achieve decarbonisation of shipping by reducing GHG emissions and improving operational efficiency.

The eco-protective objective

There are two main objectives of the Global Industry Alliance. 

  1. To reduce the transfer of harmful invasive species through biofouling
  2. To contribute to global efforts made to minimize GHG emissions released as a result of the shipping industry

By joining forces with intergovernmental organisations and the scientific community, the GIA  plans to address the above-mentioned issues. Not only is this expected to protect marine biodiversity but to address climate change as well.

The GIA will continue with a number of initiatives, similar to previous IMO projects, that have set a leading model and example for public-private partnerships in addressing world-wide marine and environmental problems. It has been previously proven that global environmental issues can only be solved with technical resources and expertise from the private sector, which is why the sector is recognised as an important stakeholder that plays a critical role in the project.

The Collective Initiative

Any stakeholders or industry sectors interested in biofouling and management practices are invited to join the alliance, including:

Shipping companies, ship operators and managers, shipbuilders

As members of the GIA, HullWiper aims to work with our partners to recognise and develop innovative solutions to address common obstacles and promote the progression of new technologies and operational systems. 

Governance and Funding 

Financed through annual membership contributions, the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) Trust Fund is overseen by the IMO and provides the much-needed financial resources to implement projects that have been approved by a member-selected GIA Task Force. 

What HullWiper is doing

The HullWiper Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) is a cost-effective, and environmentally friendly diver-free solution for underwater hull cleaning. Instead of brushes or abrasives to remove and collect biofouling the ROV uses adjustable saltwater jets, posing no damage to expensive anti-fouling coatings. 

No divers are used, meaning there can be no risk to human life. Cleaning can be conducted in most weather conditions,  day or night, and even while cargo operations are underway. The ROV’s unique onboard filter captures removed residues through cleaning and the waste is then deposited into dedicated drums onshore for safe, ecologically approved disposal. HullWiper’s filter reduces the risk of cross-pollination of waters with invasive species.

Even light hull fouling can cause a substantial amount of water resistance and increase fuel consumption, with a 2% increase in water resistance potentially resulting in a 6% increase in fuel consumption. A clean vessel hull provides significant benefits, such as sizable fuel savings and including the reduction of the vessel’s annual carbon footprint.

The HullWiper team is passionate about the power of our technology to help solve the pressing problem of hull fouling. Eliminating invasive species and increasing efficiency needs to be a priority for the shipping sector and we are proud to play our part alongside other market leaders to help clean up our oceans.

Where can I find HullWiper?

With operations bases in Dubai including key locations across the Middle East, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, Spain, Egypt, Australia, Panama and Mauritius, ship owners and operators can proactively manage the effects of hull fouling on vessel hulls and reduce their operational and fuel costs. HullWiper is also available for lease where the company does not have its own base and is available as an onboard hull cleaning solution for vessels on a tight schedule.

Get in touch with the HullWiper team at enquiries@hullwiper.co to find out what we can do for you and your fleet.