U-Ming VLOCs Protected by Nippon Antifouling System
Grand Wisdom, the second very large ore carrier (VLOC) to join the U-Ming Marine Transport fleet, has been delivered with a protective hull coating from Nippon Marine Paint’s A-LF Sea product range.
Delivered in December from Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry’s shipyard in Qingdao, China, Grand Wisdom is the second in a pair of eco-friendly bulkers to join the owner’s 48-strong fleet. Sister ship Grand Pioneer, delivered in August, represented the Taipei-headquartered shipowner’s entry into the VLOC market.
Motoi Takeuchi, Chairman, Nippon Paint Marine (Taiwan), said, “Our A-LF Sea has been supporting U-Ming’s corporate social responsibility objectives for several years now, having been applied to almost half the vessels in the shipowner’s fleet.
“That A-LF-Sea was specified for Grand Pioneer and Grand Wisdom, the 19th and 20th vessels in the U-Ming fleet to operate a Nippon Paint Marine hull protection system, underscores the coating’s capacity to improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions.”
At 339.9 meters long and 62 meters wide, the 325,000 dwt sisters – U-Ming’s first ever VLOCs – will operate under a 25-year Contract of Affreightment (COA) awarded by Vale International. The vessels will transport Brazilian iron ore to China.
In addition to the advanced hull coating system, each state-of-the-art vessel features liquefied natural gas (LNG)-ready MAN propulsion engines and exhaust gas cleaning systems designed to meet International Maritime Organization (IMO) emissions abatement requirements.
Nippon Paint Marine Europe Director John Drew said, “With ultra-low fuel consumption and, consequently, emissions – optimized by the A-LF Sea application – these vessels can deliver a greener, competitive advantage to U-Ming customers.
“The combined effect of Nippon's enhanced hydro-gel technology and the lower surface roughness from our rheology control technology leads to a proven 15% plus reduction in frictional resistance compared to other antifouling paints. It now pays to be green.”
Takeuchi added: “We are delighted to be working with such a forward-thinking owner. CO2 emissions are a major global concern and, as a paint manufacturer, we can help towards reducing shipowners’ carbon footprints by reducing drag on the underwater hull surfaces.
“U-Ming has a clear commitment to ocean sustainability, and we are delighted to support these green initiatives with A-LF-Sea. Together with our advanced hull condition software, we can help all shipowners reduce the amount of high-cost bunker fuels their ships need.”
A-LF Sea has been applied to more than 3,000 ships since the product was introduced in 2013.