Vessels transiting the Panama Canal can now take advantage of HullWiper Ltd’s innovative and eco-friendly hull cleaning solution, with the establishment of the first HullWiper operations base in the Americas, in partnership with leading provider of subsea services Talleres Industriales, S.A.
The agreement forms part of HullWiper’s global leasing programme introduced in 2017, which works with partners around the world to offer ship owners and operators an affordable, brush- and diver-free alternative to traditional hull cleaning methods that protects both vessel hull coatings and the delicate marine ecosystem.
The Panama Canal is a key transit point for vessels sailing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, facilitating world trade by avoiding the lengthy voyage around the southern tip of the American continent. The launch of HullWiper’s hull cleaning service there is in response to growing demand for safe hull cleaning solutions.
HullWiper’s patented Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) system uses adjustable seawater jets under variable pressure to remove fouling, instead of brushes or abrasives, minimising 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. 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.
“Our ROV is a good fit to support the initiatives of Panama Canal Port Authorities to provide a green solution for vessels in transit,” says Simon Doran, HullWiper Managing Director. “Our system boosts vessel efficiency and fuel savings to reduce CO2 emissions, whilst minimising the risk of damage to expensive anti-fouling coatings and the spread of marine biofouling.”
“We are excited to introduce HullWiper in the Panama Canal area,” says Talleres Industriales Managing Director, Lino Arosemena. “Our company has been serving the area for half a century, and now more than 1,200 vessels we attend to every year will have the opportunity to use this new service. HullWiper’s green credentials make it a good fit with other environmentally friendly technologies in which Talleres has invested in recent years, including sulphur cap solutions, ballast water system installation and pollution control division.”
Just over five years since its launch in Dubai in late 2013, HullWiper now operates from ports in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands, Egypt, Australia, UK, United Arab Emirates and – on an ad hoc basis – at key locations across the Middle East. New operations in Mauritius are coming in the second quarter of 2019 and is available for lease where HullWiper does not have its own base.