Key Transit Hub Introduces Eco-Friendly Hull Cleaning Solution
GAC Egypt is now offering the pioneering HullWiper hull cleaning system to vessels berthing at ports in the Suez Canal. The eco-friendly remotely operated vehicle (ROV) has already attended its first vessel, on a crude oil tanker, adding a valuable new service to the range of ship agency support provided by GAC in the key waterway.
“With 60 vessels transiting the Suez Canal daily, the area represents an important market that can clearly benefit from HullWiper’s globally renowned, efficient, and environmentally friendly approach to hull cleaning,” says Mohammed Badawi, Managing Director of GAC Egypt. “HullWiper is suitable for all commercial vessels, but segments we are especially looking to serve in Egypt include container vessels calling at the Ports of Said and Suez, as well as the increasing number of offshore marine service vessels operating in the Mediterranean and Gulf of Suez.”
Simon Doran, HullWiper’s Managing Director, adds that as a key transit hub, Egypt is the perfect location: “The country already has a strong reputation for vessel maintenance services such as hull cleaning, and demand continues to grow. Such is our confidence in the market that we are already planning to expand HullWiper’s availability to other Egyptian ports.”
Unlike other cleaning solutions, HullWiper uses seawater under high pressure as a cleaning medium, instead of brushes or abrasives, minimising damage to the anti-fouling coating. This optimises performance and creates energy efficiency savings for ship owners, as well as reducing expenditure needed to recoat the hull. And because it eliminates the need for divers, there is no risk to human life, and the operation can be conducted alongside during loading or unloading, day or night, and in most weather conditions.
Removed residues and harmful materials are collected in a special waste unit connected to the ROV for ecologically-approved disposal on land, so waste is not discharged into the sea, meeting local and regional environmental regulations. It also reduces the risk of cross-pollination of waters with alien species.
Launched in Dubai in December 2013, the diver- and brush-free HullWiper Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) network includes ports in Sweden, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, United Arab Emirates and on an ad-hoc basis at other key locations in the Middle East.