Valencia, Spain – HullWiper has set up an operational base in Valencia to offer eco-friendly, diver-free hull cleaning solutions at ports in Spain, marking the debut of the ROV system in southern Europe.
The development is in response to growing demand on the back of the recovering Spanish economy and increasingly stringent environment regulations in place.
Launched in late 2013 in the United Arab Emirates, the HullWiper Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) system has since been rolled out to other countries in the Middle East, Scandinavia and the Far East. It is now being offered to vessels at Valencia, through HullWiper's local partner, Burriel-Navarro.
Valencia, Spain’s third largest city and one of the biggest ports in the Western Mediterranean, was selected due to its strategic location supporting numerous shipping routes and operators. From there, HullWiper will offer eco-friendly and efficient hull cleaning to ships sailing the Balearic Seas.
This move represents the company’s first step into the Mediterranean area, with further potential expansion in Spain and beyond on in the pipeline.
“As in so many regions around the world, there is a growing demand in the Mediterranean for safer cleaning operations,” says HullWiper's Managing Director Simon Doran. “This is the latest stage in the expansion of our operations to help meet that demand with the system's unique features.”
HullWiper delivers a safe, fast and cost-effective clean hull to optimise vessel performance with minimal impact on the marine environment. Despite its compact size of just 3 x 1.5 x 0.80 m, the high-speed ROV can clean up to 2,000 m² of hull per hour without causing any damage to anti-fouling surfaces, thanks to brushless technology which uses adjustable pressure water jets to remove marine fouling. As no divers are involved, cleaning can be done alongside during loading or discharging operations, and any risk to life is significantly reduced. HullWiper cleans about five times faster than conventional cleaning methods with divers, and hence, reduces cleaning time by approximately half.
The entire process is in line with HullWiper's stringent Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) and compliance policies, as well as all local and regional environmental regulations. Residues and harmful marine growths captured during cleaning are disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner instead of being discharged into the sea as done using traditional methods.
Hull cleaning operations using the HullWiper will commence at Valencia 5 October 2015.