GAC EnvironHull, part of global shipping, logistics and marine services provider GAC Group, has announced that its pioneering hull cleaning system, HullWiper, is now available to shipowners berthing in the Port of Rotterdam. HullWiper – which was demonstrated at an event co-hosted by GAC EnvironHull and the Port of Rotterdam at the port on 23 June – is a diver-free remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that eliminates the need for divers to clean the vessel, cutting costs and reducing the risk to human life. Unlike other cleaning solutions, HullWiper uses seawater under high pressure as a cleaning medium, instead of brushes or abrasives, minimizing damage to the anti-fouling surface. This optimizes performance and creates energy efficiency savings for ship owners, as well as reducing expenditure needed to re-coat the hull. Removed residues and harmful materials are collected in a special waste unit connected to the ROV, so waste is not discharged into the sea to ensure it meets local and regional environmental regulations – a key focus for the Port of Rotterdam.
Christer Sjödoff, GAC Group Vice President, Commercial, says: “As the gateway to the European market and a port that pioneers new thinking around the environment, Rotterdam is the perfect location for HullWiper. We believe that European ship owners will continue to see the commercial and environmental benefits of the technology, as already seen in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Spain. “Our upcoming launch event and panel discussion, organized in conjunction with the Port of Rotterdam, further underlines GAC EnvironHull’s commitment to the service in the Netherlands, and sends the message that the GAC Group is pushing the boundaries of innovation and environmental compliance.” The panel discussion, titled ‘Smart Ship Technologies and Measures for Greener Ports’, included the first live demonstration of HullWiper in the Netherlands. The event took place on Thursday, 23 June at Rotterdam’s Drijvend Paviljeon from 15:30-18:00. Representatives from the Port of Rotterdam, shipping industry figures and environmentalists gathered to discuss the challenge of pollution in port waters, give an update on the regulatory landscape, and showcase solutions to reduce hull degradation and improve energy efficiency. A demonstration of GAC Environhull’s latest free online fuel savings calculator were also carried out at the event. This will enable participants to get an instantaneous and accurate calculation of how much they could save using Hullwiper, compared to traditional methods.