19 Jan 2021
Back in 2017, HullWiper extended a new hull cleaning solution to work with partners from around the world. Interested parties are now able to offer ship owners and operators immediate solutions for vessel maintenance and reduce the economic impact for their customers while promoting ethical values, with social and environmental responsibility.
What’s the big biofouling deal?
Biofouling refers to the growth and collection of living organisms on the surfaces of artificial structures submerged in water instead of natural oceanic surfaces. The transfer of these non-indigenous organisms through the submerged surface of a vessel can cause major effects to ship efficiency, marine life and the safety of mankind.
THE ECONOMIC IMPACT
Acid-producing bacteria carried from these alien microorganisms can start to cause biological corrosion on a vessel’s hull.
Up to 50% of shipping operation expenses can be attributed to fuel. The extra drag of biofouling reduces the speed of a vessel that can increase engine stress and fuel consumption of a shipping fleet by up to 40%.
THE MARINE IMPACT
Biofouling organisms, more commonly known as Invasive Aquatic Species (IAS), catch a ride from one location to another via ship hulls and ballast water. As the IAS reach new regions they start intruding on and competing with the local flora and fauna. This change in biodiversity can lead to harmful impacts including:
Although impacts may seem almost invisible, over time the increase of IAS population in new regions could cause irreversible damage to oceanic ecosystems around the globe.
SAFETY OF MAN
With more than 90% of the world's exports and imports transported via sea, and with hull cleaning rules and regulations around the world becoming more stringent, ship owners and operators are on the hunt for compliant solutions.
Traditional diving methods and brush systems work but cause extensive damage to expensive anti-fouling vessel hull coatings. These methods do not collect the biofouling they’ve removed but rather dispose of the debris in the ocean, harming the marine ecosystem. Port regulations are increasingly expecting ship owners and operators to collect and dispose of biofouling removed in a safe way to maintain proper cleaning records.
Are you interested in adding safe, eco-friendly hull cleaning to your current customer service offerings? HullWiper’s lease program allows anyone around the world to lease out the hull cleaning remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
When it comes to green solutions, HullWiper has got your bottom covered!
HullWiper’s eco-friendly unit captures removed biofouling using a unique onboard filter that cuts the risk of IAS water contamination. All fouling is captured for safe disposal onshore with an approved environmental waste company.
Unlike conventional methods that make use of brushes or abrasives, the unit uses powerful, adjustable high-pressure seawater jets that shoot directly onto a ship's hull at a rapid, adjustable speed to dislodge waste materials. This hull cleaning method minimises the risk of damage to costly anti-fouling coatings while working faster than divers with rotary brushes.
HullWiper is fitted with a camera and light, allowing the operator to control, monitor, and record the hull cleaning process from start to finish. Video footage of the operation can be presented to clients with the cleaning report documentation and can also double up as great footage for insurance and hull cleaning maintenance records.
THE BENEFITS OF LEASING A HULLWIPER UNIT
LEASE AGREEMENT AND LOCATION SETUP
Once the lease agreement has been signed and returned to HullWiper, the transfer of the first down payment amount as per the lease agreement is made.
Before confirming the shipment of the equipment to your location, partners must ensure all important documentation, operating permission and permits are in place to operate.
During the setup period, continuous training, troubleshooting and wet testing are performed to ensure quality, hands-on training to bring everyone up to speed. Each location should have at least 1 technical engineer to maintain the HullWiper ROV.
Once the unit and equipment are set up and the ROV team are ready to operate on their own (4 weeks allocated for training), HullWiper’s technical team will carry out a handover.
After 6 months the HullWiper team will return for a full technical and operational review. Following this, a periodical review will take place every 12 months.
No matter how far they are, the HullWiper technical support group is available to assist with technical and operational issues 24/7.
The program allows interested parties to use the brush- and diver-free Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) wherever approval has been given for its operation within port waters.