HullWiper pilot scheme at Southampton
Trials are underway in the UK’s Port of Southampton as part of a pilot scheme to launch the HullWiper water jet hull cleaning technology at the port. HullWiper is working to test the system on a range of vessels including cruise liners, Ro-Ro ships, container ships and general cargo carriers at the south coast port.
The HullWiper system uses adjustable seawater jets under variable pressure as the cleaning medium, instead of brushes or abrasives, to minimise the risk of damage to expensive anti-fouling coatings. By using the ROV to remove fouling from their vessels’ hulls, ship owners benefit from optimal performance and energy efficiency savings, whilst avoiding the expense of recoating in case of damage. As no divers are used, there is no risk to human life and cleaning can be conducted day or night, in most weather conditions, whilst cargo operations are underway.
The company also claims that removed residues and harmful materials not discharged into the sea as with traditional methods. Residues are collected in a special onboard waste filter and disposed of in an ecologically-approved manner on land in compliance with local and regional environmental regulations. It is also claimed that the collection filter also reduces the risk of cross-pollination of waters with alien species.
By Jake Frith
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