MSC utilises robotic technology in vessel maintenance

Jotun HullSkater_tcm40-223572

MSC will install the Jotun HullSkater, the first robotic technology designed for proactive cleaning, and the SeaQuantum Skate anti-fouling as part of the Hull Skating Solutions (HSS), on the 14,000 TEU MSC Eva later this year.

According to a statement form Jotun, the solution will proactively work to ensure the vessel hull allows optimal efficiency, reduced fuel costs and significantly lower CO₂ emissions by cutting biofuel.

The technology combines the antifouling and robotic proactive cleaner, housed onboard the chosen vessel, with proactive condition monitoring, high-end technical service, and performance and service level guarantees, according to Jotun.

Jotun operators control the HullSkater via a 4G connection, conducting cleaning and inspections in line with individual vessel schedules developed through a proprietary algorithm and big data. 

Credit: Jotun

Alberto Genovesi, Marine Global Key Account Manager, Performance Coatings, Jotun said: “MSC is not only a market leader, but it is also leading the way in terms of exploring innovative new solutions to meet the IMO’s goals of decarbonising shipping.”

“We have worked with them as a partner to provide premium anti-fouling coatings to their advanced fleet over many years and knew that HSS would chime with their ambitions to deliver both improved environmental performance and enhanced efficiency and cost control for business stakeholders.”

The technology will be installed on the MSC Eva at GWD Guangzhou Shipyard in China later in 2020, at the same time as it undergoes class renewal and scrubber installation. The vessel’s flexible sailing pattern, with exposure to differing water temperatures and environments, creates a severe biofouling challenge. 

Jotun claimed that if all ships facing such challenges adopted the HSS proactive approach – cleaning hulls before biofouling takes hold and therefore eliminating associated drag and fuel consumption – maritime CO₂ emissions could be reduced by at least 40 million tons per year.

“We are acutely aware that the shipping industry needs to adopt innovative solutions to meet ambitious environmental goals,” states Giuseppe Gargiulo, Head of Newbuildings, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company.

“We believe HSS will help solve the problem of biofouling, equating to strong benefits for the natural world – through reduced emissions and decreased spread of invasive species – and better results for our business, customers and society. This is the embodiment of what we’re looking to achieve at MSC.” 

“Clean hulls are only one piece of the jigsaw when it comes to delivering a more sustainable shipping industry, but a central piece nonetheless. MSC is committed to exploring and trialing new scalable solutions to minimise overall environmental impact, for both our business and the shipping industry as a whole.”

The Jotun HullSkater, which utilises magnetic wheels to cling to vessel hulls, works to remove individual bacteria and biofilm before macro-fouling grows. At such an early stage, fouling can be removed without risk of damage to, or erosion of, coating nor brushes.

Jotun said this not only delivers peak performance but also minimizes the need for reactive cleaning, cutting costs, environmental risk and optimizing fleet flexibility.

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