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Shipping and maritime

Danish hull cleaner can reduce ships’ CO2 emissions

30. January 2017

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The global transportation industry accounts for 26% of the total CO2 emissions. The shipping industry is one of the main contributors of CO2 emissions, surpassed only by the automotive industry, and if no counter-action is taken, emissions from the global shipping industry would triple by 2050.

An important factor is fouling on ships’ hulls, which can increase fuel consumption by 40%, with a corresponding impact on CO2 emissions. Fouling is a major problem for the shipping industry but cleaning a ship is quite expensive and it usually only happens every five years in a dry dock.

In the shipping industry, every hour counts and it is not feasible to have a ship lying at port, if only for a few days, to have its hull cleaned. But the new, highly efficient hull cleaner can drive away all such worries.

Our hull cleaner works so fast that no extra time at the port is needed. In fact, our cleaner can even be used while the ship is at anchor outside the harbour area,” explains Jens Peter Bredholt, CEO at Danish Kapacitet, developer of the new hull cleaner.

The hull cleaner is a Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle (ROV) with a very powerful water nozzle that can clean a hull gently but very effectively, reducing fuel consumption significantly without damaging the ship’s layer of paint.

“If a ship at anchor can be cleaned without taking away valuable time at sea, it will most certainly be of interest to the shipping industry, which looks at reducing costs as well as CO2 emissions,” says Jens Peter Bredholt.

The costs of regular cleaning are easily compensated by fuel savings,” he continues, “and it can reduce a ship’s total emission by 10%. Until this point it hasn’t been realistic but now it is and it can be a huge win for the industry as well as the planet," adds Bredholt.

Fouling of ships can be slowed down to a certain extent by the use of the modern hull paint, but its use is limited due to high costs.

The high efficiency of the Hull Cleaner from Kapacitet is largely due to the newly developed electric thruster, which has proven to very efficient as well as extremely durable.

It is the shipping industry’s own organisation, the International Maritime Organisation, which predicts an increase in CO2 emissions by 250% in 2050 (i.e. 3.5 times more), if no measures are undertaken to improve ships’ fuel efficiency.