Thursday, November 13, 2014

Container Shipping Line Opts for Environmentally Favoured Solutions Above and Below the Waterline

Eleven Newbuild Box Vessels to 18,800 TEU Will Aim for Fuel and GHG Reductions
Shipping News Feature

MIDDLE EAST – SOUTH KOREA – WORLDWIDE – Time was when antifouling coatings were one of the hot environmental topics with toxic biocides killing off all manner of undersea life quite disproportionate to their intended purpose. The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Anti-fouling System Convention (AFS/CONF/26) thankfully brought the industry into line and now more tolerable substances, coupled with new surface smoothing technology, make for reduced fuel costs and significant greenhouse gas emissions. Now Jotun and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) have reached agreement on the provision of advanced antifouling coatings for eleven of the carrier’s newbuild container vessels.

This agreement marks the first time Jotun and UASC have worked together on marine antifouling hull coatings and forms part of UASC’s ambitious $2.3 billion newbuilding programme which sees 14,500 TEU and 18,800 TEU vessels with cutting edge design and ‘LNG ready’ classification from DNV GL designed with economy and the environment in mind. Harmful substances such as organotin compounds and tributyltin (TBT)-based paint products have been banned now for some years and all Jotun antifouling products are TBT free and comply with IMO regulations.

UASC is reviewing and developing its environmentally friendly practices in the areas of saving energy, reducing carbon emissions and protecting the marine environment. Of the eleven vessels to be coated with Jotun’s premium antifouling range, eight are 14,500 TEU and three are 18,800 TEU capacity vessels. Eight of them will be treated with Jotun’s proprietary Hull Performance Solutions (HPS) system, which combines top-of-the-line SeaQuantum X200 paint with advanced measurement technology. This solution will help UASC’s vessels achieve up to a 15% hydrodynamic performance gain as well as fuel cost savings. Mohamed Zaitoun, UASC’s Assistant Vice President New Building Technical Projects, commented:

“Our aim is to set new industry benchmarks for fuel economy and environmental performance. Antifouling products have a proven ability to keep hull surfaces smooth and clean under the water, which is critical in minimising fuel consumption and reducing emissions. We are focused on building a fleet of the most efficient container vessels in the market, and we believe Jotun’s expertise can help us realise that vision.”

UASC’s new vessels are currently under construction by Hyundai Heavy Industries, with delivery scheduled to commence from November 2014. The order is anticipated to improve UASC’s competiveness in the marketplace, in particular on the Asia-Europe trading route, where the 18,800 TEU assets will be deployed. Morten Sten Johansen, Jotun’s Sales Director HPS, observed:

“UASC has evaluated the compelling nature of our advanced antifouling coatings in general, and the HPS system specifically, and is keen to trial it on eight of these flagship vessels. The combination of silyl methacrylate coating technology and a truly comprehensive measurement system, capturing high frequency performance data, delivers not just clean hulls and added efficiency, but also documented evidence of effectiveness. This helps owners clearly track fuel savings and hull performance, with the aim of providing a tangible return on investment.

“The market is showing a growing appreciation of the added value and benefits delivered by our antifouling coatings, and in particular HPS. Major industry players like UASC are leading a new wave of environmentally responsible ship-owners. They, like us, are focused on contributing to a more efficient and sustainable industry. Improving hull coatings is a fundamental part of that push.”