HullWiper’s underwater hull cleaning technology has completed its first month of operation at the Australian Port of Townsville with initial contracts already secured following its July 2018 launch.
HullWiper’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) cleans vessels’ hulls using adjustable seawater jets under available pressure. This removes the need for abrasive brushes and improves the safety of hull cleaning by eliminating the need for manual cleaning by divers. Cleaning can be conducted at any time of the day or night while the vessel is in operation.
Townsville, the largest multi-cargo port north of Brisbane, a transport hub for bulk exports, and a popular stop for cruise vessels is using the technology to reduce the impact of shipping operations in its local environment. HullWiper reduces the transfer of species to non-native environments, where they may become invasive and disrupt the ecosystem. By eliminating the build of up of barnacles and marine microorganisms on a vessel, it will consume less fuel and reduce its emissions due to smoother contact between its surface and the water.
HullWiper does not discharge removed residues and harmful materials into the sea. It collects them with an on-board filter unit which is collected by a locally-approved environmental waste disposal company. This cleaning method reduces the risk of cross-pollination of waters with alien species.
ROV cleaning operations at the Port of Townsville are managed by HullWiper’s leasing partner K ROV.
K ROV Director Ingmar Kofler confirmed that the first cleans mark the start of what could potentially be a major contribution by HullWiper to CO2 reductions in Townsville and the Australasian Region.
“With the significant fuel and associated CO2 savings unlocked by HullWiper, ship owners and operators can make substantial cost savings while enhancing their environmental performance during voyages to North-East Australia and beyond,” he said. “We’re starting to receive daily enquiries about the ROV and would like to thank the Port of Townsville for enthusiastically supporting this new venture.”
“It is a positive start for HullWiper in Queensland,” added Simon Doran, HullWiper’s managing director. “By using the ROV to remove fouling from vessel hulls, ships benefit from optimal performance and energy savings. We hope the ROV will be an attraction for vessels that routinely call at Townsville, as well as those considering a new port of call. The ROV is ideally suited to cruise ships and can clean the ship’s hull overnight while guests enjoy the region surrounding the Great Barrier Reef.”