Restriction of vessel movement due to the COVID-19 pandemic has seen governments and ports put lockdown restrictions in place around the world. While there is a myriad of ripple effects caused throughout the shipping industry, what cannot be ignored is what happens to ships during a hot lay-up.
- From cruise liners, shipping containers and LNGs, vessels in a hot lay-up need to be ready to set sail at a moment’s notice. Vessel owners and operators need to ensure their vessels are well-maintained, inside and out.
- Whilst crew members onboard maintain the vessel, what happens to her on the outside? The risk of biofouling on vessel hulls increases. This can result in fuel and efficiency penalties, an increase in fuel costs due to the drag of marine fouling on hulls, and contribute to the release of harmful CO2 emissions.
Read on to find out what you can do to keep up to speed during this time.
COVID-19 disrupting the global shipping industry
As a result of the declaration by the WHO, governments and ports have embarked on countless strict measures to lockdown their countries to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19.
These stringent actions, at their core, include the restriction on the movement of goods and people by closing entry points like land, air and seaports. The consequences and acceleration of the collapse in activity have severely disrupted worldwide supply channels such as the global shipping industry who is reportedly responsible for close to 97% of global trade.
A collapse in the demand for goods from China has caused a ripple effect on everything from container ships to oil tankers. Vessel operators, owners, and charterers are not only feeling the impact from a sharp decrease in demand due to the Coronavirus but will soon face additional challenges in operations in the shape of accelerated hull biofouling as more vessels lie idle at anchor.
Escalation of biofouling on hulls
Marine biofouling refers to the growth and collection of living organisms on the surfaces of artificial structures submerged in water, with the transfer of these alien aquatic species posing severe negative effects in the industry. The extra drag of these organisms on a ship’s hull reduces ship speed, increasing engine stress and fuel consumption of a commercial shipping fleet by up to 40%. Uncontrolled hull fouling also shortens the life of costly hull coatings and increases the amount of CO2 emissions released by the vessel.
As business slowly starts to return back to usual, many owners, charterers and operators will be looking to recover financially and rebuild after tough months under lockdown. The last thing they want to do is be faced with fuel and efficiency penalties, delays in starting her journey and increased fuel bills as a result of excess hull fouling.
The cost-effective solution
HullWiper’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) is a worldwide, eco-friendly hull cleaning solution that offers a flexible and economical green cleaning solution for vessel hulls. Not only can HullWiper offer competitive underwater hull cleaning prices against traditional hull cleaning methods, but it also guarantees fuel savings and greater efficiency in the long run.
Below are three examples of potential fuel savings over a two-year period of underwater hull cleaning using HullWiper (note the costs are estimates at the time of publishing, please contact HullWiper for up to date figures).
• 50,000dwt diesel tanker: 1,900 tons = USD 484,500.00
• 50,000dwt steam tanker: 2,500 tons = USD 637,500.00
• 200,000dwt steam tanker: 3,200 tons = USD 816,000.00
With operations bases in Dubai including key locations across the Middle East, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, Spain, Egypt, Australia, Panama, and Mauritius, ship owners, and operators can proactively manage the effects of hull fouling on vessel hulls and reduce costs. Plans are in the pipeline for new locations including Sri Lanka, Korea, South Africa, Chile, and the Bahamas.
Get in touch with the HullWiper team to find out what we can do for you and your fleet.