Photo: MOU signing ceremony, Image courtesy: Jotun

HHI to use Jotun’s Hull Skater to protect HMM’s newbuilds from biofouling

South Korean majors Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), which controls about 10% of the global newbuild market, and container shipping major HMM have committed to utilizing Jotun’s Hull Skating Solutions (HSS) on a series of newbuilds.

The HullSkater is a remotely operated robot that stays with the vessel at all times. The robot is lodged in a custom housing on deck when not in use, roaming the vessel on magnetic wheels when operated through Jotun’s dedicated control centres via 4G connection.

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Aside to the robot, HSS consists of the specially developed SeaQuantum Skate antifouling, and proactive condition monitoring utilizing a proprietary big data algorithm tailored to individual vessel needs.

According to Jotun, HSS cleans hulls before biofouling takes hold, eliminating associated drag and fuel consumption and emissions, while protecting the vessel coatings, and safeguarding ecosystems from the potentially invasive species that look to populate them.

“The agreement, signed 8 December, will see Jotun HullSkater proactively inspect and clean vessel hulls during outfitting to ensure optimal environmental performance and protection,” Jotun said.

Namely, HHI is currently building a series of 16,000 TEU container ships for HMM. the hull skating solution will be deployed to ensure the ships meet environmental key performance indicators, maintaining clean hulls, pristine coatings, providing optimal efficiency and limiting any potential release of biocides.

It will move from hull to hull during key outfitting stages.

“The combination is ideally suited to vessels facing the most challenging biofouling conditions,” explains Geir Axel Oftedahl, Business Development Director, Jotun.

“In that respect it is perfect for protecting newbuilds at outfitting and trial stages.”

“Biofouling is a particular problem when vessels are idle for long periods, such as during outfitting, and this can cause major issues when trialling initial performance before delivery.”

“HMM is committed to building a fleet that is defined by sustainable innovation, enabling us to hit our ambitious target of achieving zero CO2 emissions by 2050. We aim to be proactive in identifying, adopting and developing the best solutions, and Jotun’s approach to hull cleaning is the perfect fit for that strategy,” Jong-Chul Choi, Executive Vice President, HMM, said.

“We look forward to seeing the results of HSS and welcoming the latest additions to our environmentally friendly fleet into operation.”

“This agreement with two other leaders in their respective segments shows how we collaborate to deliver both environmental and commercial benefits for the industry. It’ll be very interesting to watch the HullSkater solving the biofouling problem once and for all. We believe this development can significantly contribute to a paradigm shift in the marine coatings market in the future,” Oh-Min Ahn, Executive Vice President, HHI, added.

The Norwegian headquartered company estimates that if all ships facing severe biofouling challenges adopted the proactive HSS approach, maritime CO2 emissions could be reduced by at least 40 million tons per year.

HMM joins another container shipping major in testing out the technology. Namely, in September 2020, Jotun signed the first commercial contract for container vessels for its HSS with container shipping major Mediterranean Shipping Company.

MSC plans to install the Jotun HullSkater on the 14,000 TEU MSC Eva later this year.

Namely, HSS will be installed at GWD Guangzhou Shipyard in China at the same time as MSC Eva undergoes class renewal and scrubber installation.

HSS has been developed over several years and brought to market by Jotun in cooperation with KONGSBERG.

The solution has been tested on vessels in a multi-year project in partnership with Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Berge Bulk, and Maersk, among others.