A ship hull with red coating
A ship hull with red coating

5 facts about coatings that should not be ignored

The conversation about the importance of antifouling measures is growing. Here’s 5 reasons why shipowners and operators should not ignore the debate and opt for quality marine coatings.

It’s a tried and true business cliché: the market is getting tougher, more competitive. In the global supply and demand game, marine coatings companies are competing intensely to capture more market shares. Shipowners and operators want their vessels to operate faster, cheaper and greener. In addition, the companies that supply the raw materials to the coatings market are pushing for higher prices to meet their own increasing costs.

The driving force behind this market pressure is, in part, the regulations that dictate an increasing level of environmental performance from the coatings themselves and the vessels that use them. For the leading coating companies, like Jotun, it is about responding to customer and market needs in a professional and responsible manner that benefits all stakeholders.

Currently, boicide-based self-polishing coatings are widely applied as standard defence against fouling. Performance and price of these antifouling coatings varies largely depending on base matrix and antifoulings used.

So, what can shipowners and operators achieve by using advanced antifoulings?

Five reasons to opt for antifouling coatings

According to Stein Kjølberg, Global Concept Director at Jotun Hull Performance Solutions, there are “five smart reasons” for them to opt for high quality antifouling coatings:

1. Comply with environmental regulations

Ship operators must comply with the accumulating environmental legislation and regulations. For instance, IMO has agreed to maintain the implementation of the 0.5% global Sulphur cap by 1 January 2020. Also, EU MRV (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) comes into force 1 January 2018.

2. Reduce speed loss

Deterioration of the ships hull by biofouling can lead to significant speed loss and efficiency loss over time.

3. Reduce time lost at sea

Given the fact that not all ships compensate fully for the effect of a deteriorated hull, they will spend more time at sea consuming more fuel than necessary

4. Reduce performance claims

Better antifouling systems and better overall performance will contribute to drastically reducing the number of performance claims

5. Improve commercial performance when trading in pools or under charter contracts

Better antifouling systems and better overall performance will ensure that the distribution of pool points and the share of the profit will be more beneficial for stakeholders. Also, better control on the underwater hull and the actual operational parameters, will ensure that tonnage providers will comply better with the contractual terms of a charter contract

Measuring antifouling efficiency

“Clearly, hull and propeller are essential with regards to fuel consumption and systematic recording of sailing efficiency is essential to detect the antifouling efficiency,” points out Kjølberg.

He continues, “Certainly there are effective solutions for improving performance but the industry has lacked a globally recognised and standardised way for measuring this and providing return on investment for shipowners and operators. Also, there’s a multitude of measurement methods being introduced in the market; some quite good, some fairly accurate, several of them propriety (black box) and many using their own yardsticks. It is becoming challenging, however, even for the most resourceful to determine which of these methods can be relied upon and which cannot.”

ISO 19030 helps to quantify impact of antifouling coatings

Kjølberg welcomes the long-awaited ISO 19030 standard, recently published by the International Organization for Standardization. “With this standard we can finally quantify how solutions, such as advanced antifouling coatings, can contribute hugely to reducing losses caused by poor hull and propulsion performance. This is a huge leap forward for shipping and the environment.”

Jotun has invested heavily in research and development to create reliable high-performance products to meet the increased focus on this segment. This is backed up by tighter control of all of the supporting roles including global production, service and technical advice.

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