HullWiper has become one of four founding members of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)’s Global Industry Alliance for Marine Biosafety, the company has announced.
The Global Industry Alliance (GIA) will work with the IMO’s GloFouling Partnerships Project to help accelerate the development of technology solutions that help to prevent hull fouling.
The four founding companies – HullWiper, CleanSubSea, ECOsubsea and Sonihull – represent a cross-section of market leaders from the shipping, aquaculture, offshore oil & gas and ocean renewable energies sectors, all of which have to tackle the issue of biofouling in the course of their normal operations.
Biofouling has both efficiency and ecosystem implications. Unwanted growth on the hull of a ship or other ocean industry superstructure can lead to added drag and therefore increased fuel burn. Moreover, the potential for invasive aquatic species, which can cause tremendous upheaval and damage to localised ecosystems, is also heightened by uncontrolled fouling.
Solving these concerns are particularly prescient with a globalised supply chain. The four companies will work with the IMO and its UN agency partners to leverage human, technological and financial resources, facilitate industry input into policy developments and create a positive pull for reform processes, and drive the development and dissemination of technological solutions to improve biofouling management.
Speaking on the announcement, Simon Doran, Managing Director, HullWiper, said: “We are passionate about the power of our technology to help solve the pressing problem of hull fouling. Increasing efficiency and eliminating invasive species needs to be a priority for our sector, and we are proud to play our part alongside other market leaders to help clean up our oceans.”
The HullWiper Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) is a diver-free, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for underwater hull cleaning. The ROV uses adjusted pressure saltwater jets, instead of brushes or abrasives to remove and collect biofouling with no damage to expensive anti-fouling coatings. No divers are used, so there is no risk to human life and cleaning can be done day or night, in most weather conditions, and whilst cargo operations are underway. Removed residues are collected by the ROV’s unique onboard filter and deposited into dedicated drums onshore for ecologically approved and safe disposal. HullWiper’s filter reduces the risk of cross-pollination of waters with invasive species.
Since its launch in late 2013, HullWiper has expanded from its first base in Dubai to include key locations across the Middle East, as well as ports in Sweden, Norway, Qatar, Denmark, Singapore, Spain, Egypt, Australia, Panama and Mauritius. Plans are in the pipeline for new locations including Sri Lanka, South Africa, Chile and Bahamas. HullWiper is also available for lease where the company does not have its own base.