Marine data intelligence firm GreenSteam warned vessel owners, operators and charterers that they face issues related to accelerated hull fouling with more vessels idling or providing floating storage for petroleum products as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
Vessels lying at anchor are subject to accelerated hull fouling, and anchored vessels in warmer climates are at more severe risk as higher sea temperatures promote growth on hulls. Accordig to GreenSteam, the resultant increase in resistance ships with fouled hulls face can lead to an increase in fuel costs by 20% if left unchecked.
A survey during a recent GreenSteam webinar found 78% of attendees with hull cleaning responsibilities did not use a monitored condition-based strategy, preferring to clean the hull at fixed ’rule of thumb’ intervals or ’based on experience’ periods, or reactively, such as following manual inspection or fuel consumption spikes.
The company said the industry can get ahead of the curve and move to a monitored condition-based strategy, “which protects expensive coatings while reducing emissions”.
GreenSteam chief operating officer Simon Whitford said “Fouling follows an S-shaped growth curve. After the rate of fouling starts to accelerate, it can soon pass a point of no return for in-water cleaning as the hull surface gets saturated by plant and then animal organisms. Cleaning before this point is usually reversible – we can turn back the clock on hull fouling. After this point, it becomes increasingly difficult to clean without damaging the coating. Damaged coatings lead us to a future of expensive and ever-worsening performance until the next drydock and recoating.”
Mr Whitford said “We advise all owners, operators and charterers to get in touch so we can support them to proactively manage the effects of hull fouling and reduce their fuel costs and GHG emissions.”
GreenSteam’s machine learning software uses historical and live data to create a vessel performance model and applies this in conjunction with real-time and historical metocean data to build a complete picture of hull fouling.
Vessel lay-ups caused by the pandemic have affected the industry. At Riviera Maritime Media’s Understanding vessel lay-up options in the age of Covid-19 webinar, one third of attendees said they currently have a vessel in lay-up. And as a result of the most recent oil price crash, demand for floating oil storage increased from 75M barrels to 160M barrels between February and April.
Riviera will host a week of free to attend 45-minute webinars focused on marine coatings commencing 6 July. Register your interest now