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HHI to use Jotun's robotic hull cleaning to unlock green benefits

SOUTH Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has reached an agreement with the country's shipowner HMM and Norwegian-headquartered coatings firm Jotun to use robots for hull cleaning

17 December 2020 - 19:00
SOUTH Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has reached an agreement with the country's shipowner HMM and Norwegian-headquartered coatings firm Jotun to use robots for hull cleaning.

Jotun will utilise its Hull Skating Solutions (HSS) on a series of 16,000 TEU new box ships at HHI built for HMM. The HSS will be applied to ensure the ships meet environmental key performance indicators, maintain clean hulls and pristine coatings, gain optimal efficiency and limit any potential release of biocides, reports Seatrade Maritime News, Colchester, UK.



The HSS consists of a unique HullSkater, which adheres to vessels and gently removes all biofouling for an 'always clean' hull, the specially developed SeaQuantum Skate antifouling, and proactive condition monitoring utilising a proprietary big data algorithm tailored to individual vessel needs.



The HullSkater will move from hull to hull during key outfitting stages.



'HSS cleans hulls before biofouling takes hold, eliminating associated drag and fuel consumption and emissions, while protecting the vessel coatings, and safeguarding ecosystems from the potentially invasive species that look to populate them. Biofouling is a particular problem when vessels are idle for long periods, such as during outfitting, and this can cause major issues when trialling initial performance before delivery,' explained Geir Axel Oftedahl, business development director of Jotun.



Choi Jong-chul, executive vice president of HMM, commented: 'HMM is committed to building a fleet that is defined by sustainable innovation, enabling us to hit our ambitious target of achieving zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.'



Ahn Oh-min, executive vice president of HHI, said: 'It'll be very interesting to watch the HullSkater solving the biofouling problem once and for all. We believe this development can significantly contribute to a paradigm shift in the marine coatings market in the future.'



The HSS' unique robotic cleaning units are controlled by specialist Jotun operatives via 4G connections. The company estimates that if all ships facing severe biofouling challenges adopted the proactive HSS approach, maritime carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by at least 40 million tonnes per year.


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