Stolt Tankers leads the way in proactive hull cleaning standardisation

Stolt Tankers is proud to announce that it has joined the Clean Hull Initiative (CHI). The CHI was launched earlier this year to focus on the issue of biofouling (the build-up of marine growth on the hulls of ships). The CHI is led by Norwegian non-profit environmental NGO, the Bellona Foundation and brings together key stakeholders from across our industry, the public sector and wider society. The group is focused on the development and implementation of an industrywide, recognised and accepted standard for proactive hull cleaning in international shipping.

One of the issues the CHI hopes to solve is that comprehensive biofouling (the build-up of marine growth on the hulls of ships) management strategies and policies are not widespread, and those organisations that do implement policies do not always do so consistently. There are also variations across the industry when it comes to inwater cleaning (IWC) policies. Both issues contribute to a complex regulatory landscape in which ship owners must operate.

The CHI argues that good biofouling management requires a broad range of measures, both preventative and removal, to limit biofouling on hulls. For example, proactive hull cleaning at an early stage is essential for reducing overall biofouling and is in line with the latest revision of IMOs guidelines.

However, solving the biofouling issue requires a holistic approach based on collaboration across the shipping industry. Stolt Tankers will provide expert insight to support the initiative through the development of an ISO standard for proactive hull cleaning. It is hoped that this standard will help operators to meet new regulatory requirements, establish best practices and encourage industry innovation in proactive cleaning.

Commenting on the initiative, Lucas Vos, President Stolt Tankers said: “Biofouling has the potential to significantly harm the environment. It increases vessel drag, inflating fuel consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions. It is also responsible for the spread of invasive aquatic species. Stolt Tankers is committed to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of Climate Action and Life Below Water, and being an active member of the CHI reinforces this commitment.”

Bellona Founder Frederic Hauge added: “Biofouling is a big problem worth solving. It is responsible for tens of millions of tonnes of excess emissions from shipping and is costing the industry a lot of money. Bellona wants to work together with industry and regulators to solve environmental issues on a large scale, and the CHI is a perfect example of an ideal Bellona project. Together we will seek to sort out the regulatory barriers currently in the way of solving the biofouling issue”

About the Bellona Foundation
The Bellona Foundation was founded in 1986 and has offices in Oslo, Norway; Brussels, Belgium; Berlin, Germany; and Murmansk and St. Petersburg, Russia. The foundation has a broad area of sustainability-related expertise and with 35 years of experience, has established a unique network both nationally and internationally. Our work has gained international attention within several disciplines, and Bellona`s advisors are frequently sources and experts on climate change issues both in national and international press. Find out more online: