HullWiper Ltd is moving into the African continent in its continued drive to keep the hulls of vessels – and the oceans – free of non-native marine species. The company, which markets a solution for underwater hull cleaning that helps ship owners “meet their responsibilities for protecting the marine environment,” has signed an agreement with Indian Ocean-based underwater hull cleaning specialists Immersub.
It is the latest extension of HullWiper’s leasing program, introduced in 2017, to work with partners around the world to offer ship owners and operators a cost-efficient, brush- and diver-free alternative to traditional hull cleaning methods that protects anti-fouling coating on vessel hulls.
Ship owners and operators benefit from a clean hull that improves vessel performance, increases fuel savings, and lowers CO2 emissions, without any extra downtime or harming the marine ecosystem, the company says.
The agreement comes at a time when the threat of foreign aquatic species is receiving more attention. The Global Environment Facility, the United Nations Development Programme, and the International Marine Organisation (IMO) have collaborated on a GloFouling project intended to neutralize that threat. HullWiper says its agreement with Immersub will help support the “Green Port Concept” of Mauritius, one of the 12 countries spearheading the GloFouling project; Mauritius will be Hullwiper’s first operational base in East Africa.
The Mauritius Ports Authority’s commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly port activities made it “an obvious choice” for HullWiper, the companies say.
HullWiper’s patented Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) system uses adjustable seawater jets under variable pressure to remove fouling, instead of brushes or abrasives, minimizing the risk of damage to expensive anti-fouling coatings. No divers are used, so there is no risk to human life and cleaning can be conducted day or night, in most weather conditions, and whilst cargo operations are underway, the company says. Removed residues are collected by an onboard filter and deposited into dedicated drums onshore for locally-approved environmental disposal. The filter also reduces the risk of cross-pollination of waters with alien species.
Immersub’s CEO Capt. Pierre Yves Rochecouste says HullWiper’s ROV technology “enhances Immersub’s experience in traditional hull cleaning methods,” adding that, with HullWiper’s worldwide reputation and network, “we have no doubt that the Port of Mauritius will become a major stopover for underwater hull cleaning services in the Indian Ocean.”
Editor’s Note: HullWiper won an Environmental Leader Product of the Year Award in 2017. We are currently accepting submissions for the 2019 Environmental Leader Awards. Learn more and submit a project or product here.