Shipowners have already made tough decisions on what fuelling option to choose to meet the 2020 rules. Whatever the decision has been, the cost is certainly considerable. The better news is that as they navigate through a continuously changing regulatory landscape there are – with careful planning – ways to recoup costs elsewhere. Selecting a high-quality premium hull coating system for example, which reduces fuel consumption regardless of the type of fuel being burnt, can deliver cost savings for any vessel in the short or longer term.
Innovation is key
The impact a hull coating can have to a shipowner’s operational success is sometimes overlooked but there is an advanced coating system currently available that delivers return on investment in just three months1. Hempel, the worldwide coatings manufacturer, recently launched a new innovative fouling defence system called Hempaguard MaX to support shipowners’ quest for operational efficiency. This unique three-coat system not only provides vessels with a smoother hull, but it can also be applied in just three layers, reducing time in dry dock by up to two days compared to a conventional silicone system. This saves on expensive yard fees and limits the number of off-hire days.
It is well known that fouling on a hull significantly impacts fuel consumption and related emissions, which is why Hempaguard MaX has been formulated to achieve a very low average hull roughness, which reduces drag. This results in lower fuel requirements for a vessel. Thanks to its improved fouling protection, it delivers a guaranteed maximum speed loss2 of 1.2 per cent over five years (according to the ISO 19030). Moreover, Hempaguard MaX allows full trading flexibility without restriction on water temperature, trading area or trading pattern.
A layered approach
Hempaguard MaX is unique because of its ability to successfully utilise the synergies between its three different layers: Hempaprime Immerse 900, tie-coat Nexus II, and Hempaguard X8. Built on the success of Hempel’s leading hull coating Hempaguard X7, the topcoat Hempaguard X8 is the driving force behind the unrivalled antifouling performance. It incorporates Hempel’s enhanced patented Actiguard® technology that combines the smoothness of a silicone coating with an improved hydrogel microlayer and active ingredient.
Hempaprime Immerse 900 is an anticorrosive primer that can be applied in one coat, while Nexus II is a tie-coat technology with improved anticorrosive capabilities. Together, they provide the same protection delivered by two standard maintenance epoxy coats, reduce time in the dock for faster return to service and ultimately save money for the shipowner and operators.
When it comes to managing regulatory requirements, the wind of change is here, and shipowners need to rethink the way that they operate. The biggest decision for shipowners has been selecting the most economically viable solution to meet the upcoming sulphur requirements. But how they can build efficiency and flexibility into every aspect of their operations is also key. Solutions such as premium hull coatings not only help to reduce operational costs, but they also minimise a company’s environmental footprint.
1 Based on a VLCC with activity level of 70 per cent and burning low sulphur fuel costing 35 per cent more than standard bunker fuel over a five-year life cycle. Hempaguard MaX system delivers an annual saving of aroundUSD 1.8 million compared to a market average antifouling. This equates to a ROI (return on investment) of three months.
2 Speed loss: If a vessel’s main engine is set at a certain power output, it will propel the ship through the water at a certain speed. Over time, fouling accumulation will increase drag and cause the speed of the ship to reduce even if the main engine power output remains constant. This reduction in speed is termed “speed loss”.