01 Aug 2022
Last year HullWiper Ltd co-founded a new hull maintenance partnership – named Intertrac® HullCare - together with AkzoNobel and its International® brand of marine coatings, and underwater drone Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) specialist, Orobotix - to provide ship owners and operators with comprehensive hull care management and maintenance. To date, Intertrac® HullCare has completed many inspections on a wide range of ships in the Far East, Middle East and Europe, delivering highly positive results.
The partnership offers high-performance coating schemes from International® tailored for different vessel types and operating profiles, which are maintained using sustainable hull cleaning solutions through HullWiper’s global network of partners as well as regular underwater inspections using Orobotix ROVs.
HullWiper Managing Director, Simon Doran, says, “The end-to-end hull maintenance service allows for regular inspections, analysis, and reporting to track hull condition. This enables vessels to save on fuel consumption while enhancing vessel speed and efficiency, and to comply with port and shipping authority anti-biofouling regulations worldwide and to meet BIMCO reclamation standards.”
Customers are given access to information in data driven quarterly reports, annual ROV inspections and annual condition reports which include biofouling development assessments in line with ISO 19030 standards.
HullWiper is also one of the four founding members of the IMO’s Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety. Doran explains, “GIA works with the IMO’s GloFouling Partnerships Project to help accelerate the development of technological solutions to help prevent hull fouling. We are also actively involved within the BIMCO and AMPP technical steering committees, contributing our inputs towards establishing the legislation for global hull cleaning and inspection standards.”
HullWiper is continuing to invest in research and development (R&D) to further improve its underwater hull cleaning technology. A new software upgrade which reduces human input and greatly increases overall efficiency of operations has just been rolled out to HullWiper’s global locations, which include the UAE, Panama, Sweden, Gibraltar, Mauritius, Singapore, South Korea, and Australia, as well as new locations added in the past year in Guinea and Sri Lanka.
Doran says, “Through the on-board ‘brain,’ HullWiper collects data and information to help improve performance, pushing the benchmark for full cleaning. We are committed to further developing the unit as the most eco-efficient, progressive, and environmentally sound hull cleaning solution available on the market, capable of transforming the hull maintenance industry for good.”
As is well known, ambitious goals are in place to reduce the shipping industry’s environmental impact by 2050. With tougher restrictions on the horizon to address what the IMO describes as “one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet,” HullWiper believes a hull maintenance plan will become part of daily operations for shipowners and operators.
Doran adds, “There is no better way to see immediate results in profits and environmental protection than by tackling one of the sector’s biggest threats – biofouling. Marine fouling cuts into ship owners and operators bottom line, damages expensive anti-fouling coatings and contributes to the release of greenhouse gas emissions.”
HullWiper’s ROV is designed to provide a green hull cleaning solution to address this issue. Claimed to be the only operational ROV that offers a unique onboard filtration system to capture removed biofouling, the technology features adjustable high-pressure seawater jets which are used to dislodge accumulated biofouling on vessel hulls. All of the removed fouling is captured onboard a filter unit for safe disposal onshore. The ROV can clean up to 500 m2 per hour and the entire cleaning procedure is CCTV recorded and delivered to the client along with the operational hull cleaning report.
Source: Shiprepair & Maintenance | Q3 | 2022