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Young Entrepreneur gong ‘invaluable’, says past winner

Young Entrepreneur gong ‘invaluable’, says past winner
The winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award at Nor-Shipping 2013 was Tor Østervold of ECOsubsea.

Working closely with the Wilhelmsen Group, the company that he and his brother runs has pioneered a safe and environmentally friendly method for the in-water cleaning of hulls.

ECOsubsea uses a small robotic vessel of proprietary design – which he described as "like an unmanned tractor lawnmower with a collection facility. This moves across the ship’s hull - using ‘a whole new high-pressure cleaning principle’ that the company understandably wants to keep under wraps – removing all biofouling with a confirmed collection rate of 97.5%, Matter removed is delivered to a green recycling scheme for conversion into fertiliser and the like."

Crucially the cleaning process occurs "without damaging the anti-fouling coating," Østervold stressed, meaning vessels can be cleaned at frequent intervals, achieving important fuel savings.

The scheme is currently in operation at a cleaning station in the Port of Southampton, primarily on Wilhemlsen ships while they load and unload.

The company currently employs 10 people and expansion moves are underway, including introduction of a second robotic cleaner of a new and improved design.  

"The Nor-Shipping/YoungShip Award was fantastic for us," Østervold told Seatrade Maritime News, "and we’ve been lucky to win two more [awards] since. I’ve not met many people who haven’t heard us as a result of the Nor-Shipping exposure, and that’s invaluable."

A holder of a Masters in International Shipping (Distinction) from the University of Plymouth in the UK, The young entrepreneur lists his hobbies as new technology, running, skiing and acting as a toastmaster.

No doubt he will be lifting a glass to this year’s finalists and the eventual winner of the 2015 Young Entrepreneur Award to be announced at this year’s 50th Nor-Shipping event from 1 - 5 June.