Subsea Industries has run a series of ‘roadshows’ to showcase their Ecospeed hard coating which creates easy to clean hulls with no impact on the environment.
In Maassluis, the Netherlands, a maintenance and dive support vessel was used to demonstrate to guests how easily a vessel can be cleaned.
It is also legal to be used in harbours which do not allow the cleaning of hulls underwater, such as the nearby Rotterdam.
Normal underwater cleaning is not allowed in some harbours due to the corrosive nature of the cleaning, allowing coating to be spread into the surrounding water, Erwin Strik, Subsea Industries’ Sales Officer said this can also be costly.
A VLCC typically would take an underwater team approximately 12 hours to clean, whereas the team demonstrating the Ecospeed coating took 2 hours to clean the vessel.
Mr Strik said: “Ecospeed is not foul-release paint but rather a coating system that requires a completely different, more cost-effective and environmentally-acceptable approach to hull protection and anti-fouling.
“Paint degradation is typical of traditional marine hull coatings, resulting in the need for reblasts and recoats more or less every time the vessel docks. This repeat business model is costing ship-owners dearly and is completely unnecessary.”
Green Award Foundation representatives suggest that environmentally-certified ship-owners using Ecospeed could benefit from a 10% reduction in port fees.
Willem Hopmans, Subsea Industries’ Marine Project Officer, said: “We all have an environmental interest in what is happening in the water but we can clean Ecospeed hulls in water very quickly and without damage to the marine environment. Ecospeed is the only sustainable solution for protecting ships’ hulls and we will now take the vessel to ports around Europe to demonstrate just how safe the coating is and how simple and cost-effective it is to clean.”
Subsea Industries’ Executive Director Boud Van Rompay explained: “With Ecospeed there is no need to reblast and recoat the hull; there is no chance of corrosion, no impact on the environment and, if regular hull cleaning is carried out, fuel savings of up to 40% can be achieved.
“What’s more, if Ecospeed is applied to ice-going ships and the vessel is maintained in good condition during service, Classification Societies have ruled that the thickness of steel plating may be reduced by up to 1mm. Since this is the area most prone to damage from ice impact, there are considerable savings to be made.”