Time to Aim High with Hempel
As the industry evolves now is the time to aim high with your sustainability goals.
Across the maritime industry - both at a regulatory level and at an individual company level, the sustainability agenda is rightly driving change, and slowly but surely, the cumulative impact of shipping operations on the environment and society is gradually being lessened, year-on-year.
While the challenge of achieving ambitious sustainability goals and prescribed targets during this exceptionally challenging time for businesses working to overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic is daunting, together, we have to maintain a focus on the bigger picture. Placing sustainability at the core of every business and operational decision made now will ensure maritime companies adapt in-step with the economic, environmental and social drivers that will determine whether or not the shipping industry will be in business in the decades to come. Simply put, if we fail to adapt now by developing and adopting cleaner ways of operating, we imperil the future of the industry altogether.
To ensure that we are showing leadership in this endeavour, at Hempel we have put sustainability at the very core of our ‘Double Impact’ strategy. We have set ourselves ambitious and are aiming to become carbon neutral in our own operations by 2025. Simultaneously we are determined to help our customers to reduce up to 30 million tonnes of CO2 in total by 2025. We hope to achieve this through a range of ‘in the can’ and ‘out the can’ solutions and our recently established sustainability framework, ‘Futureproof’.
‘Sure bet’ solution
A key component of our strategy for reducing our own emissions, and those of our customers in the maritime segment, is focusing on the use of hull coatings that help to tangibly reduce the amount of fuel required by vessels. It is well known that, by reducing frictional resistance on the hull and propellers of a vessel by combating the build-up of biofoul, protective coatings can minimise fuel use and reduce subsequent emissions, while also improving operations. The numbers here speak for themselves: fouling and mechanical damage to the hull can increase the engine power a vessel needs to maintain a defined speed by as much as 18 per cent (and potentially more over a five-year sailing interval). For vessel owners and operators committed to improving their own sustainability performance, investing in an advanced hull coating is a ‘sure bet’ for remaining competitive and simultaneously reducing emissions.
Solutions like Hempel’s flagship coating Hempaguard X7 is a great example of a hull coating solution that offers significant fuel savings and efficiencies to shipowners and can undoubtedly contribute to helping them meet their sustainability goals. This innovative coating delivers eight per cent in fuel savings (compared with a market average) and a maximum speed loss of 1.4 per cent across a five-year docking interval. Hempaguard X7 is based on Hempel’s patented Actiguard technology, which took over five years to develop and is now a core component of the entire Hempaguard range.
The science behind it
Hempaguard X7 is formulated with an activated silicone hydrogel which exhibits superior non-stick properties that repel organisms and effectively maintain a lower frictional resistance to aid the movement of the ship’s hull through the water. A biocide-activated hydrogel is formed on the surface of the silicone coating and as the biocide diffuses out of the film it is trapped in the hydrogel layer.
This increases its surface concentration and prolongs the time the biocide is retained at the surface of the coating – where it is most effective. This means that considerably less biocide is needed compared with standard hull coatings, yet it is much more effective at preventing the settlement of biofouling organisms. As a result, the Hempaguard X7 coating delivers unrivalled flexibility as it retains its effectiveness regardless of speed, water temperature and during idle periods (of up to 120 days).
Hempaguard X7 has been exceptionally well received in the industry since its launch in September 2013 and has been applied to over 2,000 vessels. This solution has enabled those vessels to collectively reduce their fuel consumption by 7.6 million tonnes, lowering fuel costs by at least USD 2.6 billion and CO2 emissions by 23.5 million tonnes.
Looking at a more granular example that shows the potential savings that could be achieved, Hempel recently helped the owner of a cruise vessel to assess the performance of its Hempaguard X7 coating. Using our digital analysis tool SHAPE (Systems for Hull and Propeller Efficiency) it was calculated that with Hempaguard X7, the cruise ship’s fuel use increased by just 0.9 per cent over 60 months despite trading in warm waters - an improvement of 17 per cent compared to a standard hull coating. Assuming a daily fuel consumption of around 40 tonnes, an overall activity level of 50 per cent and a bunker cost of USD 600 per ton, the savings generated by Hempaguard X7 for the vessel owner were estimated to be around USD 3.7 million over five years.
These figures and examples are important to stress, because while industry may at times be tempted to wait for a panacea fuelling solution to take us to the ultimate goal of a zero-carbon future for shipping, it is easy to lose sight of the simple but effective solutions we already have at our disposal. Critically, these solutions need to be in use today to ensure we achieve our collective 2050 emissions target from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and perhaps more importantly, effect positive change now. One simple ‘sure bet’ solution that will help shipowners and operators along this road is investing in the right hull coating solution.
Hempaguard X7 at a glance:
- Offers up to 90 months of extremely efficient fouling defence for any type of vessel with any trading pattern, as well as for extended idle time
- 95 per cent less biocide than traditional antifoulings
- Efficient fouling prevention during the entire service interval
- Based on Hempel’s patented Actiguard low-friction fusion technology
- Combines the best from the hydrogel silicone and biocidal antifoulings
- Documented performance and a long track record
- Guaranteed fouling resistance for up to 120 idle days