The Environmental Award-winning HullWiper has arrived in the Associated British Port (ABP) of Southampton. The hull cleaning ROV device won International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited-sponsored award at the last Tanker Shipping & Trade conference.
Trials are underway in Southampton as part of a pilot scheme to launch the eco-friendly HullWiper hull cleaning technology at the port.
ABP head of marine projects Captain Martin Phipps welcomed the trial. “Hull cleaning initiatives provide the opportunity to remove biofouling and non-native species from the water column, whilst enhancing the efficiency of a vessel through the water, improving fuel economy and importantly reducing emissions and costs.”
HullWiper uses adjustable seawater jets under variable pressure as the cleaning medium, instead of brushes or abrasives, to minimise the risk of damage to expensive anti-fouling coatings. By using the ROV to remove fouling from their vessels’ hulls, shipowners benefit from optimal performance and energy efficiency savings, while avoiding the expense of recoating in case of damage. As no divers are used, there is no risk to human life and cleaning can be conducted day or night, in most weather conditions, while cargo operations are underway.
“HullWiper provides an affordable, safe and eco-friendly alternative to traditional hull cleaning methods. Its addition to the portfolio of services available at the port will add further economical, practical and environmental advantages to Southampton,” said HullWiper managing director Simon Doran.
The removed residues and harmful materials not discharged into the sea as with traditional methods. Instead, they are collected in a special onboard waste filter and disposed of in an ecologically approved manner on land in compliance with local and regional environmental regulations. The collection filter also reduces the risk of cross-pollination of waters with alien species.
Launched in Dubai in December 2013, HullWiper now operates in ports in Sweden, Singapore, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and, on an ad hoc basis, at key locations in the Middle East.