U-Ming’s First Ever VLOCs Opt For A-LF Sea Protection
Grand Wisdom, the second Very Large Ore Carrier (VLOC) to join the U-Ming Marine Transport fleet, has been delivered with a protective hull coating from Nippon Marine Paint’s A-LF Sea product range.
Delivered in December from Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry’s shipyard in Qingdao, China, Grand Wisdom is the second in a pair of eco-friendly bulkers to join the owner’s 48-strong fleet. Sistership Grand Pioneer, delivered in August, represented the Taipei-headquartered shipowner’s entry into the VLOC market.
Motoi Takeuchi, Chairman, Nippon Paint Marine (Taiwan), said: “Our A-LF Sea coating has been supporting U-Ming’s corporate social responsibility objectives for several years now, having been applied to almost half the vessels in the shipowner’s fleet.
“That A-LF-Sea was specified for Grand Pioneer and Grand Wisdom, the 19th and 20th vessels in the U-Ming fleet to operate a Nippon Paint Marine hull protection system, underscores the coating’s capacity to improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions.”
At 339.9m long, with a width of 62m, the 325,000dwt sisters – U-Ming’s first ever VLOCs – will operate under a 25-year Contract of Affreightment (COA) awarded by Vale International. The vessels will transport Brazilian iron ore to China.
In addition to the advanced hull coating system, each state-of-the-art vessel features LNG-ready MAN propulsion engines and exhaust gas cleaning systems designed to meet IMO emissions abatement requirements.
Nippon Paint Marine Europe Director John Drew said: “With ultra-low fuel consumption and, consequently, emissions – optimised by the A-LF Sea application – these vessels can deliver a greener, competitive advantage to U-Ming customers.
“The combined effect of Nippon’s enhanced hydro-gel technology and the lower surface roughness from our rheology control technology leads to a proven 15% plus reduction in frictional resistance compared to other antifouling paints. It now pays to be green!”
Takeuchi added: “We are delighted to be working with such a forward-thinking owner. CO2 emissions are a major global concern and, as a paint manufacturer, we can help towards reducing shipowners’ carbon footprints by reducing drag on the underwater hull surfaces.
“U-Ming has a clear commitment to ocean sustainability, and we are delighted to support these green initiatives with A-LF-Sea. Together with our advanced hull condition software, we can help all shipowners reduce the amount of high-cost bunker fuels their ships need.”
A-LF Sea has been applied to more than 3,000 ships since the product was introduced in 2013.