The Port of Townsville, Australia, has granted permission for K-ROV to operate remote hull cleaning technology, HullWiper, within its waters.
HullWiper, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) cleans hulls and surfaces of ships using adjustable seawater jets under variable pressures, rather than abrasive brushes that are typically used. The jets clean the ship of biofouling, reducing resistance through the water and improving operational efficiency.
Under the agreement, K-ROV will use HullWiper to clean the surfaces of all types of vessels calling at Townsville, the largest multi-cargo port north of Brisbane and a popular stop for bulk exports cruise vessels.
By using seawater jets, the surfaces of ships will be thoroughly cleaned without causing damage to the coating that would otherwise require reapplication. Unlike other traditional methods, HullWiper does not discharge removed residues and harmful materials into the sea. Instead, it collects them with a unique onboard filter which also reduces the risk of cross-pollination of waters with alien species.
Simon Doran, HullWiper’s managing director said: “Townsville is located at the centre of the Great Barrier Reef, an area of considerable ecological sensitivity and the first line of defence against unwelcome foreign species. Our ROV captures marine fouling on a ship’s hull for ecologically-approved disposal onshore, in line with local and regional environmental regulations.”
HullWiper ROV does also not require divers to operate, improving the safety of the hull cleaning procedure and reducing risk to human life. The ROV can be operated day or night and in most weather conditions while the ship is in operation.
K-ROV is offering a free clean to the first 10 shipowners or operators calling at Townsville after July 15, 2018, to celebrate the launch of HullWiper in Australia.