Over the years demand and fears of disruption in supply chains have placed upwards pressure on oil prices. With developing nations such as China and India growing rapidly, global demand for oil has been increasingly outpacing any excess capacity and gains in oil production.
As the effects of the pandemic unfolded in 2020, demand collapsed and the oil market was swamped. Q1 of 2021 has come and gone and it was unlike anything we were expecting. Although some countries are fortunate enough to continue life as normal, many countries are still under stringent lockdown regulations as a result of COVID-19. But with a roll-out of an effective vaccine programme underway, global demand for oil is on the rise. A resurgence in global economic growth means a rise in goods to be shipped from place to place.
Fuel already represents almost 50% of the total operational costs of a voyage and certain oceanic circumstances can make this worse. A build-up of biofouling can not only have a damaging effect on expensive anti-fouling paint coatings, but can also dramatically increase fuel consumption and reduce operational efficiency too.
WHAT IS BIOFOULING?
Starting as just biofilm (slime), biofouling - also known as biological fouling - refers to the accumulation and attachment of algae, plants and other small sea creatures to vessel hulls. Within hours of a clean hull being submerged in the sea, marine organisms being to collect on its bottom.
In its early stages, this slime is hardly visible but ignoring it is a costly mistake for any shipowner or operator.
The issues of biofouling can cause multiple issues to fleets including:
- Harms expensive anti-fouling vessel hull coatings
- Increase pressure on a ship’s engine of the transfer of invasive aquatic species (IAS) to native areas which can cause huge problems for the marine ecosystem
- Increase drag which increases fuel consumption by up to 40% which dually increases the release of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
Although that might not appear to be that much, with today’s fuel prices it all adds up.
MAXIMISING FUEL SAVINGS
A build-up of biofouling can’t be avoided but thankfully proper cleaning can remove all traces of fouling without removing or damaging the coating. Hull cleaning can be performed by divers using brush and kart systems or by using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Although using divers is the more traditional option, it’s certainly not the most effective.
Conventional hull cleaning with divers
Divers with brushes can produce abrasions to the anti-fouling coating on the surfaces of vessel hulls, causing micro-abrasions in paint that can promote regrowth of IAS. Brushes may remove up to 10 – 30% of antifouling coatings, costing you even more in the long run.
Hull cleaning with ROV’s
Hull cleaning ROV’S make use of saltwater jets to dislodge waste material which creates no groove or damage to the hull’s surface from cleaning. Capable of operating day or night, ROV’s pose no risk to human life and places the longevity of your vessel hull first.
HullWiper ROV offers the benefits of saltwater jet cleaning with even more advantages. Unlike other ROV’s, HullWiper offers a cost-effective, eco-friendly solution that is truly better for the environment and your pocket!
Don’t believe us? Shipowners and operators can now plan their route, calculate and compare fuel cost savings reaped by hull cleaning using HullWiper's online fuel savings calculator. Developed in response to demand for a speedy, easy-to-use method of comparing cost-savings achieved through various hull-cleaning techniques, the calculator takes vessel size, voyage, speed, fuel type, temperature and anti-fouling coating used into account to allow owners and operators to make an informed decision about which hull cleaning system to use.
It also takes into account the hidden costs of using divers with brushes or other abrasive materials, which damage costly coatings when compared to HullWiper’s adjustable sea-water jets. Taking all the operational costs into consideration, using HullWiper can help reap savings of 50-100% for shipping companies.
The calculator can be accessed and used by PC, laptop, tablet and smartphones. For more information visit www.hullwiper.co or get in touch with our team via firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what we can do for your fleet.