New coating solutions highlight the benefits of using coatings to cut both fuel costs and emissions
The cruise industry’s awareness of the importance of underwater hull coatings to boost fuel savings has grown, according to Jotun Marine Coatings cruise concept director Jorunn Sætnøe.
She tells Passenger Ship Technology “Paint providers are trying to educate operators about what the coating can do for them and how measuring hull and propeller performance can benefit cruise ships. We do this today for some owners. Most cruise ships have equipment on board to measure performance, and some are more sophisticated in this area than others.”
An important point is that using underwater hull coatings suited for the sailing pattern means underwater cleaning might be carried out less frequently. Ms Sætnøe says “This is costly and there are upcoming restrictions in ports about where underwater cleaning can take place.”
Cruise ship operators face challenges when it comes to drydockings and coatings. Ms Sætnøe said the drydockings market could become squeezed in Europe as Grand Bahama Shipyard – a significant yard for cruise ship repairs and drydocks – is now down to two docks from three and with the coronavirus virus threat, there could be an impact on drydocking schedules and where ships are able to go to carry these out.
Jotun extended its focus on the cruise market a few years ago by establishing a cruise concept. Ms Sætnøe says “It is an important and very interesting market for us and different from other types of commercial vessels. Europe is an important market where most cruise newbuildings are constructed, but so is the US, where most of the operators are based.”
The company is about to reveal a ‘unique’ development for the cruise market, but Ms Sætnøe said it was too early to provide more details. But she mentioned that a year ago Jotun launched another product aimed at the cruise market – its Marathon IQ2 coating, aimed at ice-class vessels, which is especially relevant for expedition cruise ships.
Ms Sætnøe says “This is an ice-class product and meant for ice-class and expedition vessels – you can divide the cruise market into two. There are conventional cruise vessels, but there is a lot of focus on smaller expedition vessels. Our product will help these expedition cruise ships in areas including Antarctica. It is a very hard coating which stops scratches, takes care of the seal and will withstand some ice.”
Norwegian inks coatings contract
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (Norwegian) has struck a long-term antifouling system supply contract to 13 cruise ships operating under the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands.
The agreement, signed with Nippon Paint Marine late last year, will see the coatings specialist apply its low-friction SPC antifouling, A-LF-Sea, to six Oceania vessels, five Regent Seven Seas Cruises vessels and Norwegian Cruise Lines ships Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Dawn.
A-LF Sea has already been applied in 10 drydocks while three vessels, Marina, Nautica and Norwegian Epic will be coated with the hull coating during scheduled drydockings later this year.
“Due to the impressive performance of A-LF-Sea in the past, we decided to broaden the scope of supply to half the Norwegian fleet with a more formal, long-term agreement,” says Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings vice president, technical operations Carlo Paiella.
He adds “Nippon’s technical service and worldwide supply capabilities complement the excellent fuel-saving performance we have seen from this low-friction paint.
“As leaders in the cruise ship sector, we believe it is vitally important to do all we can to mitigate against any operations that may influence global climate change. The use of A-LF-Sea has helped towards our ships meeting the very stringent emissions reduction targets we have set.”
In December 2019, the company’s low-friction hull coating system LF-Sea won the 2020 Japanese Government Award for Global Warming Prevention Activity. The judging panel found using the coating contributed to reduced drag, consequently resulting in lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions from vessels that have applied the hull coating.
Nippon Paint Marine Europe director John Drew says “…Norwegian’s requirements are understandably extremely demanding but thanks to its forward planning, together with the reliability and performance of this coating, these vessels will benefit from greater fuel and operational efficiencies.
“A-LF-Sea has been successful in assisting the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleets in coping with changes in their itineraries and providing predictable and effective protection from fouling in all the geographical areas in which these vessels operate.”
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings operates a fleet of 28 cruise ships. The 13 vessels to which A-LF-Sea has or will be applied are Oceania Cruises’ Insignia, Marina, Nautica, Regatta, Riviera and Sirena; Seven Seas Explorer, Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Splendo, and Seven Seas Voyager; and Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships Norwegian Epic and Norwegian Dawn.
Nippon Paint Marine is also working with Norwegian in the verification testing and performance monitoring of its unique biocide-free hull coating Aquaterras. A test patch has been applied to an undisclosed cruise ship and results are being benchmarked against a conventional biocide coating.
“The cruise industry has been an early proponent of this ground-breaking technology,” said Mr Drew. “Like other cruise lines, Norwegian also recognises that Aquaterras is a hugely significant breakthrough in the antifouling market, providing similar levels of performance to those systems containing biocides, such as cuprous oxide.”
Nippon Paint Marine, which has been active in the cruise market since 2011, is expected to apply its low-friction hull coatings to its 70th cruise ship later this year.
Seven Seas Explorer has had Nippon Paint Marine’s A-LF-Sea hull coating applied as part of a fleet-wide agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
Advanced anti-fouling properties
Elsewhere, Hempel launched a new coating system incorporating advanced anti-biofouling properties at Nor-Shipping last year. Hempaguard MaX is applied in three layers, meaning it can be applied more quickly, reducing time in drydock by up to two days.
The combined savings generated by Hempaguard MaX through reduced time in drydock and increased fuel savings could pay back the cost of the coating within three months, based on a VLCC with an activity level of 70%, burning low-sulphur fuel costing 35% more than standard bunker fuel over a five-year lifecycle. Hempaguard MaX delivers an annual saving of around US$1.8M compared with a market average antifouling.
Hempel’s head of marine group product management Davide Ippolito says “The high level of fuel savings and hull protection are achieved due to the low average hull roughness level delivered by the whole coating system, very low speed loss over the entire operational period and improved anticorrosive capabilities.
“Hempaguard MaX is the next logical step for shipowners and operators seeking to maximise their efficiency and reduce associated CO2 emissions. At a time where marginal gains are of importance and environmental regulations are becoming stricter, the choice of hull coating can make a significant difference.”
Hempel’s new system builds on the success of its flagship hull coating, Hempaguard X7. Since its launch in 2013, this coating has been applied to over 1,500 vessels. According to Hempel, this has allowed those owners to collectively reduce their annual bunker bill by US$500M and reduce their CO2 emissions by more than 10M tonnes.
Hempaguard MaX exploits the synergies between its three different layers: Hempaprime Immerse 900, tie-coat Nexus II and Hempaguard X8.
The top coat Hempaguard X8 is built on Hempel’s enhanced patented Actiguard technology. This unique coating combines the smoothness of a silicone coating with an improved hydrogel microlayer and active ingredient to provide outstanding antifouling performance, full operational flexibility and a smooth hull.
Hempaprime Immerse 900 and Nexus II contribute significantly to Hempaguard MaX’s low AHR. A smoother hull delivers less drag and improved fuel efficiency from day one.
Hempaprime Immerse 900 is an anticorrosive primer that can be applied in one coat, while Nexus II is a next-generation tie-coat technology with improved anticorrosive capabilities. Together, they provide the same protection delivered by two standard maintenance epoxy coats, reduce time in the dock for faster return to service and ultimately save money for the shipowner and operators.
The new three-coat Hempaguard MaX system can be used with Hempel’s fuel-efficiency management software suite, which is available to commercial shipowners and operators.
Protecting ship hulls from barnacle settlement has become an ever-more dominant issue in recent years, especially as there is a heavier regulatory focus on this issue.
Sweden-headquartered I-Tech’s barnacle-repellent, organic, non-metal antifouling coating active agent Selektope is being used in several marine coatings including Chugoku Marine Paints’ (CMP) premium product Seaflo Neo CF Premium.
I-Tech chief executive Philip Chaabane says “CMP has taken out all the copper and replaced it with Selektope and their own advanced technology to come up with a much smoother surface with overall better performance and excellent colour retention. Selektope has enabled new ways of thinking for the paint makers.
“It is about saving emissions and saving fuel, and the smoother the hull the better the performance – reducing excessive use of fuel and emissions to air.”
Launched in 2016, CMP has brought eight products to market that include Selektope, including Sea Premier 3000 Plus, which was announced at the Bari Ship Expo in Imabari, Japan, last year. This product can be used to protect niche areas of a ship from barnacle fouling.
Mr Chaabane says “It is an issue for all ships: protecting marine ecosystems from invasive species and reducing emissions to air.”
He singles out how barnacles attached to the hull can lead to a 36% increase in drag. “You need to care about underwater before other aspects of the ship,” Mr Chaabane sums up.
Snapshot CV: Jorunn Sætnøe (Jotun Marine Coatings)
Jorunn Sætnøe has worked for Jotun since 2010, first in antifouling as product manager, then from December 2017 in cruise concept as cruise manager and from the start of last year as cruise concept director.
Her previous experience includes working at Simrad marketing, a former subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime (Kongsberg Group) from 2003 dealing with marine electronics, becoming marketing manager in 2005.