GAC Qatar is joining forces with HullWiper Ltd in preparation to launch its hull cleaning solution at the Qatari port of Ras Laffan in early 2020 to meet growing demand for safe, eco-friendly hull cleaning solutions. GAC Qatar is the only company to have been granted a license by the country’s Environment Ministry to operate hull cleaning equipment in its waters.
Daniel Nordberg, GAC Qatar Managing Director, says: “GAC has always been a maritime services pioneer. We are always looking for ways to innovate, add value to our customers, and at the same time, operate in an environmentally-conscious and sustainable manner. Bringing HullWiper to Qatar is yet another initiative to tackle the global biofouling crisis.”
HullWiper’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) complies with Qatar’s strict regulations, which include collection of 100% of biofouling removed during cleaning for safe disposal at the Qatar Petroleum (QP) facility after a QP test, and the maintenance of proper cleaning records for monthly submissions to QP Environment office. All fouling removed is captured in its unique onboard filter unit, and a detailed report of the operation is produced.
Hullwiper offers ship owners and operators a cost-efficient, brush- and diver-free alternative to traditional hull cleaning methods that protects both the ocean and expensive anti-fouling vessel hull coatings. Owners and operators benefit from a clean hull without any extra downtime or harm to the marine ecosystem.
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.
“Qatar is the region’s biggest LNG exporter with more than 70 ships transporting cargo all over the world,” says Simon Doran, HullWiper Managing Director. “With the increase of LNG production, and other ships operating in the country, the number of vessels calling at its ports is expected to grow significantly and HullWiper’s operational presence in partnership with GAC at Ras Laffan will support Qatar’s initiative for safer, cleaner and greener shipping with its hull cleaning solutions.”