Stolt Tankers has successfully completed an in-transit hull cleaning trial using Shipshave’s ITCH (In-Transit Cleaning of Hulls) on board the Stolt Acer (pictured) as she sailed from Port Said, Egypt to Algeciras, Spain.
Biofouling on ships’ hulls is a major concern for shipping companies as it not only increases fuel consumption, but can also lead to the transfer of invasive species to non-native waters. In transit hull cleaning gently cleans the hull more regularly than manual cleaning by divers. The reduction in the amount of drag due to biofouling consequently decreases fuel consumption.
Energy and Conservation Manager at Stolt Tankers, Jose Gonzalez Celis said: “The results of the initial trial were very positive. We saw a reduction of fuel consumption during the voyage, and this when combined with some of the other technological developments we are investigating will have a significant impact on our overall fuel consumption.”
Until more environmentally friendly fuels are readily available, Stolt Tankers is exploring several technical solutions to support the transition to a low-carbon maritime industry and plans to expand the Shipshave trial to five more ships. Stolt believes that a greener future will require the right combination of new technical solutions, technology and future fuels.
“Traditionally, ship owners tend to have a reactive approach to vessel maintenance, rather than taking preventive measures.” Adds Lucas Vos, President Stolt Tankers. “As part of our continuous improvement mindset we have turned that idea on its head and found that taking a more proactive stance before biofouling has a chance to settle on a ship’s hull is a far more sensible approach.”
“Reducing the marine growth on the underwater hull of our ships by applying Shipshave’s innovative solution is just one of the ways in which we are improving our energy efficiency with the aim of reducing our carbon intensity by 50% (relative to 2008 levels) by 2030.”
Shipshave’s ITCH performs hull cleaning while the vessel is sailing to prevent the early-stage growth of hull biofouling. DNV has performed a consumption assessment calculation and found that Shipshave’s technology can deliver fuel savings of around 10% when used regularly. The crew of the Stolt Acer also reported that the device was easy to use, clean and maintain.