29 Aug 2018
HullWiper Ltd’s underwater hull cleaning technology is marking a successful first month of operations at the Port of Townsville, Australia, with initial contracts already secured following its July 2018 launch.
HullWiper’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) provides affordable and eco-friendly hull cleaning services for all kinds of vessels calling at Townsville, the largest multi-cargo port north of Brisbane, a transport hub for bulk exports, and a popular stop for cruise vessels. ROV cleaning operations at the Port of Townsville are managed by HullWiper’s leasing partner K ROV.
Australia is known as a world leader in efforts to use technology to protect the environment. HullWiper complies with the strict biofouling management standards* the country has implemented to counter the spread of invasive alien species (IAS) and provides vessel and cruise ship owners/operators with an eco-friendly solution that enables them to reap the benefits of a clean hull while meeting those legal requirements.
The solution uses adjustable seawater jets under variable pressure as the cleaning medium, instead of brushes or abrasives, which leaves expensive antifouling surfaces intact. No divers are used, so there is no risk to human life and cleaning can be conducted day or night, in most weather conditions, and whilst cargo operations are underway.
Unlike traditional methods, HullWiper does not discharge removed residues and harmful materials into the sea. Instead, it collects them with a unique onboard filter unit which is collected by a locally-approved environmental waste disposal company. This cleaning method reduces the risk of cross-pollination of waters with alien species.
“It is a positive start for HullWiper in Queensland,” says Simon Doran, HullWiper’s Managing Director. “By using the ROV to remove fouling from vessel hulls, ships benefit from optimal performance and energy savings. We hope the ROV will be an attraction for vessels that routinely call at Townsville, as well as those considering a new port of call. The ROV is ideally suited to cruise ships and can clean the ship’s hull overnight while guests enjoy the region surrounding the Great Barrier Reef.”
K ROV Director Ingmar Kofler says the first cleans mark the start of what could potentially be a major contribution by HullWiper to CO2 reductions in Townsville and the larger Australasian Region.
“With the significant fuel and associated CO2 savings unlocked by HullWiper, ship owners and operators can make substantial cost savings while enhancing their environmental performance during voyages to North-East Australia and beyond,” he says. “We’re starting to receive daily enquiries about the ROV and would like to thank the Port of Townsville for enthusiastically supporting this new venture.”
Launched in Dubai in December 2013, HullWiper now operates in ports around the world including Sweden, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and - on an ad hoc basis - at key locations across the Middle East.