Belgium: Hydrex’s Ecospeed Wins National Energy Globe Award

Belgium: Hydrex’s Ecospeed Wins National Energy Globe Award

On 30 May 2012 two delegates from the Austrian Chamber of Commerce at the Austrian embassy in Brussels, Mr. Peter Fuchs and Mr. Henry Simon, visited Hydrex nv in Antwerp to present the company with the National Energy Globe Award for sustainability for 2012. Hydrex won the award for Belgium for its Ecospeed non-toxic hull coating project. Manuel Hof, Production Executive over Ecospeed at Hydrex accepted the award on behalf of the company.

In presenting the award, Mr. Fuchs said, “We present this award with our thanks to Mr. Boud Van Rompay who made this wonderful invention. The reason Hydrex received the award is because your company has really done a great deal for the environment, since the non-toxic hull coating system reduces the use of energy by 25%. We wish you a lot of success and we thank you for doing so much for the environment.”

“It is our duty and responsibility to assure that our young people will have an intact environment tomorrow.” With these words Wolfgang Neumann launched the ENERGY GLOBE World Award for Sustainability in 1999, today’s most prominent and prestigious environmental prize.

From all over the world, projects are showcased that conserve and protect our resources or that employ renewable energy. The goal is to present successful sustainable projects to a broad audience, for many of our environmental problems already have good, feasible solutions. Each year some 800 projects and initiatives from all over the world are submitted.

Purposes of the winning Ecospeed non-toxic hull coating system project

– To develop and implement a cost-effective, entirely non-toxic ship hull coating and fouling control system to replace existing toxic coatings and thus stop the ongoing pollution of the world’s oceans, ports and waterways by the use of heavy metal and other biocides.

– To develop and implement a system of ship hull coating and underwater cleaning which reduces propulsive fuel consumption of ships by 20% or more, thus reducing GHG and other emissions on the part of shipping by a similar amount.

– To develop and implement a ship hull coating and underwater cleaning system which is effective in preventing the spread of non-indigenous species.

– To develop and implement a ship hull coating system which provides complete corrosion protection for the lifetime of the ship without need of replacement beyond minor touch-ups.

The fact is that existing ship hull coating and fouling prevention technology is highly environmentally hazardous in a number of ways as well as being economically unviable. The Ecospeed project set out to remedy this situation and develop a new Best Available Technology in its stead.

The overall aims of the project have been achieved and the technology is already in successful commercial application on many ships, meeting all the aims it set out to achieve.

The technology is fully developed and ready for implementation throughout the world fleet.

When implemented broadly, the savings in fuel, the accompanying reduction in GHG and other emissions, the absence of thousands or millions of tons of copper and other biocides being leached into the oceans and the curtailing of the spread of invasive species will be very dramatic.

Ecospeed’s benefits

The Hydrex Group has developed the most environmentally safe and benign solution to ship hull protection and biofouling control. Ecospeed, combines a hard, inert, completely non-toxic coating with in-water conditioning and routine underwater cleaning. The direct effects of the use of this glass-flake vinyl ester resin coating system include:

– Drastically lower VOC emission during application than other coating systems.

– Tough, anticorrosion protection for the lifetime of the ship’s hull with no need for repainting beyond very minor touch-ups during regular drydocking.

– No biocides leached into the oceans.

– Fuel consumption reductions of 20% or more compared to other coating systems currently in use, with a corresponding reduction in GHG, NOx, SOx and other emissions.

– Avoidance of the environmentally destructive painting and repainting required many times during the service life of ships with current hull coatings, which results in heavily polluted areas around ship repair yards and drydocks.

– When used correctly, not permitting fouling to exceed slime or light weed, Ecospeed is the most effective system for preventing the spread of NIS via ship hulls since Ecospeed coated ships sail with a clean hull.

All of these factors make Ecospeed by far the most environmentally safe ship hull coating system available today and made the jury decide to give the Energy Globe Award for 2012 to Hydrex for the Ecospeed project.

Subsea World News Staff, June 04, 2012; Image: Hydrex