HullWiper | Affordable, eco-friendly hull cleaning in Panama |…

Affordable, eco-friendly hull cleaning in Panama | HullWiper ROV

12 Jan 2021

12jan21 hull cleaning in panama

Connecting both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, the Panama Canal is one of the seven engineering wonders of the world. First used on the 15th of August 1914, this artificial 82km waterway has directly contributed to the reduction of 650 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by reducing ships’ voyages by up to 15,000 km (8,000 nautical miles)!

An estimated 14,000 ships navigate through the Panama Canal every year, starting their voyage from more than 1,700 port towns, in over 160 countries the world over.

Commitment to protecting the environment through initiatives such as the Green Connection Environmental Recognition Program, it’s no surprise that green, hull-cleaning solutions are a good fit with the Panama Canal Port Authorities. This growing demand for safe hull cleaning solutions makes HullWiper’s hull cleaning solution a good fit for the port.

Vessels transiting the Panama Canal can now take advantage of HullWiper Ltd’s innovative and eco-friendly hull cleaning solution.


Port of Balboa: Ranked the busiest container port in Latin America in 2012, Balboa is the Pacific-side port of the Panama Canal.

Port of Cristobal: One of the oldest seaports still operating in Panama, Cristobal has been operating for over 150 years and can be found at the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal.


A key transit point for vessels sailing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with all subsea services including HullWiper ROV available.

The agreement forms a part of HullWiper’s international leasing program which was first introduced in 2017. HullWiper has teamed up with Panama ship repair giants, Talleres Industriales who have been serving the maritime industry for more than 50 years, offering a range of services including but not limited to:

  • Underwater hull cleaning and propeller polishing
  • Drilling, welding, cutting, blanking, sealing
  • Class approved underwater CCTV and photography
  • Structural repairs and welding
  • Electrical repairs and rewinding onboard
  • Mechanical repairs
  • Blasting and painting

HullWiper’s green solutions make it a good fit with other eco-friendly technologies such as sulfur cap solutions, ballast water system installation and pollution control division that Talleres have invested in recent years

Hull cleaning in the deep blue sea

The commercial shipping industry transports almost 90% of the world’s imports and exports as it stands, with more than 55,000 vessels trading around the globe at any point in time. Since the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced an extensive framework of global maritime safety regulations, the importance of hull cleaning has never been more important.

Biofouling is an ongoing issue where living organisms begin to grow and collect on the surfaces of artificial structures on submerged vessels instead if attaching to the ocean floor. These organisms can cause major issues such as:

Economic Impacts:

Up to an astonishing 50% of a ships operational costs can be allocated to fuel. The weight of biofouling on vessel hulls creates extra drag which can increase the fuel consumption of a shipping fleet by up to a whopping 40% and increase stress on the engine.

The harsh bristles of brushes used in conventional hull cleaning can also cause severe damage to costly anti-fouling coatings, pushing up maintenance costs and potentially even leading to dry-docking.

Environmental Impacts

Ships carrying biofouling may transfer Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS) from one region to the next, putting indigenous marine eco-systems at risk of battling these alien species for food and space in the ocean.

A heavier drag and rising fuel consumption as a result of biofouling also increase the amount of CO2 emissions released by the vessel.

Humans At Risk:

Traditionalhull-cleaning that involves the use of skilled hull cleaning divers to remove biofouling and maintain boats can endanger divers. Bad weather conditions and entanglement can potentially cause long-term, sometimes even fatal, consequences.

When it comes to eco-friendly solutions, HullWiper goes the extra nautical mile.

Unlike traditional hull cleaning methods, HullWiper’s green ROV system captures removed residues and harmful materials using its unique onboard filter unit instead of releasing them into the sea. Once the hull clean is completed, the captured fouling is then safely disposed of in designated, environmentally approved bins onshore.

Intricately designed by mechanical engineer, Robert Andersen, the HullWiper uses high-pressure seawater jets at a rapid speed to dislodge attached organisms and waste. This hull-cleaning medium removes the need for brushes or abrasives, minimising the damage to anti-fouling coatings.

Cleaning up to 2000m2 per hour, the entire cleaning process takes just a few hours with HullWiper, allowing you to set sail into the sunset in no time. Check out our Fuel Savings Calculator to see how much more efficient your fleet could become.

If more than 1,000 vessels can trust HullWiper hull cleaning system, so can you. Get in touch via [email protected] to find out what we can do for your fleet or visit for more information.