With TBT paints on the endangered list due to environmental concerns, shipowners must find an alternative method to keep ships coated and efficiently clean. Jotun believes it has the answer.
Bringing her first cargo to Europe following completion by Samsung Heavy Industries (010140.KS)
, the 306,000-dwt British Pioneer has given new expression to environmental-consciousness in the crude oil transportation sector. While the security of her 2.1-million barrel cargo containment has been enhanced by the compulsory double hulling, the non-mandatory continuation of the double shell aft better safeguards the bunker spaces, reducing the risk of fuel oil spillage in the event of the aftship being breached. In addition, her potential impact on marine life has been lessened through the adoption of a newly unveiled, tin-free antifouling.
Although it currently comes at a very substantial price-per-liter premium, Jotun's SeaQuantum product is claimed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder performance-wise with the tin-bearing self-polishing paints, which have enabled shipowners to operate at drydocking intervals of up to 60 months. While Jotun developed the formulation for the coating, Japanese chemicals group Nippon Oil and Fats (NOF) came up with a silyl polymer to replace the environmentally hazardous tin compounds used in the ubiquitous self-polishing antifouling coatings. Multiple full-ship pilot applications over the past seven years provide Jotun with the basis for its claims for the long-run potency and also enhanced fuel-saving effect of the system.
British Pioneer, first of a quartet for BP Amoco Shipping, is one of a host of newbuilds to be treated with the copper-based underwater coating. The anticipated ban on the application of all antifoulings containing TBT (Tributyltin) by January 1, 2003 will focus more minds on the 'greener' alternatives. - David Tinsley