Revolutionising underwater hull cleaning

Namibia is the first country where hull cleans will be conducted using HullWiper’s recently introduced self-contained 40ft hull cleaning container.

23 February 2021 | Supplements

The customised Hullwiper container includes a fully functioning engine room, workshop and control area from where trained technicians work.

The air-conditioned unit will be stored at a Walvis Bay jetty for quick and easy mobilisation and demobilisation for vessels calling at the port or outer port limits.

The HullWiper collects marine fouling removed from hulls, rather than polluting local port water and risking the spread of harmful invasive species.

Captured residue is pumped into a filter unit and then deposited into dedicated drums onshore, which are collected by a locally-approved environmental waste disposal company.

Partnership

HullWiper Ltd teamed up with KWINT Offshore Services Namibia (Pty) Ltd and brought green, safe and port-approved hull cleaning solutions to vessels calling at Walvis Bay. KWINT joins the growing network under HullWiper’s lease agreement launched in 2017.

The hull cleaning operations in Namibia will be headed by Ciska Swart of Hull Cleaning Namibia, whose passion for environmental cleaning and care for the ocean helped to bring this pioneering cleaning solution to Namibia.

“HullWiper is the future for Namibia’s drive to bring eco-friendly solutions to our shores. We are proud to be part of this green future and excited to bring environmentally-friendly hull cleaning solutions to our shores,” she said.

According to KWINT General Manager Jerry Bakx, the partnership with HullWiper is in full support of Namibia’s Vision 2030 to introduce innovative, eco-friendly solutions to various sectors that operate in the country.

“This collaboration is a move in the right direction to provide our clients with a cost-efficient solution to remove biofouling from their vessel hulls, whilst protecting our delicate marine eco-system.”

Stamp of approval

Namibia’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has issued an Environmental Clearance Certificate to KWINT to operate the hull cleaning solution, making HullWiper’s eco-friendly Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) the only hull cleaning equipment approved to meet the growing demand for sustainable shipping solutions that comply with local port regulations.

Hull cleans are performed alongside and at inner / outer anchorage with no restrictions. However, outer anchorage hull cleaning is weather dependant. This means the service is available in Walvis Bay in port and outer port limits as well as around Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.

Benefits

HullWiper’s ROV is recognised as 100% environmentally friendly as all pollutants removed during a clean are collected by a unique on-board filter unit for safe disposal onshore.

The system uses adjustable seawater jets as the cleaning medium, instead of brushes or abrasives, to minimise the risk of damage to coatings.

Removing fouling from vessels’ hulls results in optimal performance, energy efficiency and reduced CO² emissions, and avoids the expense of recoating in case of damage. No divers are used, so there is no risk to human life and cleaning can be conducted day or night, in most weather conditions, and whilst cargo operations are underway.

Not only does the HullWiper ROV drastically reduce the risk to life as no divers are used, it also eliminates the danger of invasive foreign species being released into the water during cleaning.

This is no small feat in light of the IMO naming invasive species “one of the greatest threats to the ecological and the economic well-being of the planet”.

Photo caption

HullWiper’s eco-friendly Remotely Operated Vehicle. Photo contributed

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