Newbuilding Bulker under Construction Will Be 1st Ship to Use Silicon Anti-fouling Paint

Monday, March 07, 2011

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President: Koichi Muto) today announced the first use of a new silicon-based anti-fouling paint for a 38,000-class bulker now under construction at the Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. Shitanoe Works (Usuki-shi, Oita Prefecture). When completed, the new vessel will sail under a long-term charter with Doun Kisen Co., Ltd. (Namikata-cho, Ehime Prefecture). This new fluoropolymer foul release (*1) coating, called “Intersleek900,” was developed by International Paint Ltd.

Intersleek900 silicon-based anti-fouling paint offers the following advantages:

(1)    Fouling is easy to remove thanks to superior smoothness because the paint reduces surface roughness. This is different from normal self-polishing type paints work by gradually transferring of the paint containing the antifouling agent (*2).
(2)    Improved water repellency makes it more difficult for marine organisms to adhere to the hull.
(3)    Intersleek900 is more environmentally friendly because it does not contain anti-fouling agents such as cuprous oxide (*3).
(4)    (4) Reduced coefficient of friction underwater is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 6%, with a corresponding cut in CO2 emissions.
(5)    (5) There is no need to repaint every time the vessel is in dry-dock. This reduces paint consumption and saves labor.

MOL has promoted the Senpaku ISHIN project (*4) as one of its environmental strategies in the midterm management plan GEAR UP! MOL. The company has taken a proactive approach to introduction of various technologies that contribute to reduction of the environmental burden.

The newbuilding bulker will be completed in early May.

Based on a performance comparison between the new ship and a similar vessel completed in February that uses conventional anti-fouling paint, MOL will decide whether to proceed with a full-scale adoption of Intersleek900.

*1. Foul release
A function that causes living organisms to detach under their own weight even they adhere to the coated film.

*2. Anti-fouling agent
Organic tin, cuprous oxide, etc. The anti-fouling paint exudes the anti-fouling agent from the paint surface in seawater to prevent organisms from adhering to the paint surface.

*3. Cuprous oxide
Cuprous oxide has been used as an anti-fouling agent. Its contamination effect is lower than organic tin, but concerns have been increasing over its long-term impact on the marine environment.

*4. Senpaku ISHIN project
The next-generation vessel project announced from September 2009 to October 2010. It includes initiatives that will make significant contributions to environmental protection as quickly as possible by reducing CO2 emissions using practical, currently available technologies.

Source: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

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