Remotely operated underwater hull cleaning solution HullWiper will start operating at Mauritian ports from 2019.
Mauritius is one of 12 countries involved with the IMO’s GloFouling Project, a collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and IMO, created to implement guidelines for the control and management of the transfer of invasive marine species on vessel hulls.
The transfer of species from their native environments to non-native ones via ships’ hulls is a rising concern in Mauritius. Managing Director of HullWiper, Simon Doran, said: “These species hitch a ride by clinging to the submerged areas of ships hulls. Invasive species in its basic form means that an organism is being moved from its natural habitat to a new habitat where it may have no natural predators.”
The Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) uses adjustable pressure seawater jets to remove fouling, instead of brushes or abrasives, minimising the risk of damage to antifouling coatings. There is no need for divers, reducing the risk to human life. Cleaning can also be conducted day or night and while the vessel is in operation under most weather conditions. An on-board filter collects removed residues for locally-approved environmental disposal ashore.
HullWiper’s ROV will be deployed in Mauritian water to support The Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) ‘Green Port Concept’, that aims to implement sustainable and green hull cleaning options to vessels calling at the country’s ports.