HullWiper Ltd is joining forces with GAC Qatar in preparation to launch its hull cleaning solution at the Qatari port of Ras Laffan in early 2020 to meet growing demand for safe, eco-friendly hull cleaning solutions. GAC Qatar is the only company to have been granted a license by the country’s Environment Ministry to operate hull cleaning equipment in its waters.
HullWiper’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) complies with Qatar’s strict regulations, which include collection of 100% of biofouling removed during cleaning for safe disposal at the Qatar Petroleum (QP) facility after a QP test, and the maintain proper cleaning records for monthly submissions to QP Environment office. All fouling removed from the hull during cleaning is captured in its unique onboard filter unit, and a detailed report of the operation is produced.
The agreement with GAC Qatar was signed under HullWiper’s leasing programme introduced in 2017. The programme enables it 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 both the ocean and expensive anti-fouling vessel hull coatings. Owners and operators benefit from a clean hull without any extra downtime or harm to the marine ecosystem.
The system uses adjustable seawater jets as the cleaning medium, instead of brushes or abrasives, to minimise the risk of damage to coatings. Removing fouling from vessels’ hulls results in optimal performance, energy efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions, and avoids the expense of recoating in case of damage. 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.
“Qatar is the region’s biggest LNG exporter with more than 70 ships transporting cargo all over the world,” says Simon Doran, HullWiper Managing Director. “With the increase of LNG production, and other ships operating in the country, the number of vessels calling at its ports is expected to grow significantly and HullWiper’s operational presence at Ras Laffan will support Qatar’s initiative for safer, cleaner and greener shipping with its hull cleaning solutions.”
Daniel Nordberg, GAC Qatar Managing Director adds: “GAC has always been a maritime services pioneer. Bringing HullWiper to Qatar is yet another initiative to tackle the global biofouling crisis.”
Since its launch in late 2013, HullWiper has expanded from its first base in Dubai to key locations across the Middle East, as well as ports in Australia, Denmark, Egypt, Gibraltar, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and – most recently – Panama and Mauritius. Plans are in the pipeline for new locations including Sri Lanka, Korea, South Africa, Chile and Bahamas. HullWiper is also available for lease where the company does not have its own base.
To date, HullWiper has attended more than 1000 vessels for hull cleans worldwide.