GAC EnvironHull’s eco-friendly, diver-free hull cleaning technology makes its Asian debut at this year’s Sea Asia exhibition
, marking its introduction at one of the world’s busiest ports, Singapore.
The HullWiper Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) system was launched in late 2013 in the United Arab Emirates and has since been rolled out to other countries in the Middle East and in Sweden. It is now being offered to vessels in Singapore, through GAC EnvironHull’s local partner, T&T Salvage Asia Pte Ltd (T&T). T&T will be the exclusive service provider for the promotion and supply of hull cleaning services using the HullWiper in Singapore and Malaysia.
A clean hull enhances vessel speed and performance by reducing resistance, thus decreasing carbon emissions and fuel consumption. However, traditional hull cleaning methods using divers with brushes can present a risk to the eco-system and damage antifouling hull coatings.
HullWiper is the response of global shipping, logistics and marine services provider GAC to growing demand for environmentally sound and cost-effective hull cleaning solutions to optimize vessel performance at a time when ever more stringent environmental restrictions are coming into force, GAS said.
Despite its compact size of just 3 x 1.5 x 0.80 m, the high-speed HullWiper ROV can clean up to 2,000 m² of hull per hour without causing any damage to antifouling surfaces, thanks to brushless technology which uses adjustable pressure water jets to remove marine fouling. As no divers are involved, cleaning can be done alongside during loading or discharging operations, and any risk to life is reduced. HullWiper cleans about five times faster than conventional cleaning methods with divers, and hence, reduces cleaning time by approximately half.
The entire process is in line with the GAC Group’s stringent health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) and compliance policies, as well as all local and regional environmental regulations. Residues and harmful marine growths captured during cleaning are disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner instead of being discharged into the sea as done using traditional methods.
Simon Doran, Managing Director of GAC EnvironHull, said, “The time is now right for HullWiper to enter the Asian market. Since HullWiper’s launch less than 18 months ago, we have received many enquiries from around the world and its innovative features have been recognized with accolades, including an international innovative technology award.”
“For Hullwiper to be launched in Singapore, it first had to be tested and certified by the local authorities as a safe method of hull cleaning. I am pleased that Hullwiper has passed all the tests thrown at it and is now able to start cleaning hulls in Asia for the first time," said Christer Sjödoff, GAC Group Vice
President – Solutions. He added that Singapore
’s strategic location makes it the ideal gateway to Asia for HullWiper. “We see great potential for our hull cleaning solution in this part of the world, and our eco-friendly solution dovetails neatly with the country’s Maritime Green Initiative.”
“Through this partnership, GAC and T&T will deliver to the shipping industry, an environmentally-friendly solution that meets both operational and regulatory requirements,” said Syed Hasan Abbas, Director for Subsea Services, T&T. “This complements T&T’s HSSE policy, which is to deliver quality services safely and efficiently, parallel to our respect for the sanctity of the environment and the fragile marine ecosystems in which we operate.”
Hull cleaning operations using the HullWiper will commence in the Republic in the second half of this year.