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Ecospeed keeps VG carrier in top condition despite severe ice
(Posted on 04/08/21)
When the 4700dwt Eeva VG docked in Naantali, Finland last month, the Ecospeed coating on its hull was still in excellent condition. The ship was coated at the start of 2016. During the most recent docking only very minor touch-ups were needed, despite the severe ice conditions the ship has encountered.
Eeva VG is one of two energy efficient dry cargo carriers built in 2016 and managed by VG-Shipping. Both ships operate in the Baltic region and are designed to cause considerably less environmental impact than conventional dry cargo vessels. VG-Shipping Ltd is part of Meriaura Group, a Finnish family owned shipping company, which transports industrial bulk, recycled and raw materials and demanding project cargoes, in Northern Europe.
When the ships were first coated Ismo Saaros, Director, Project Management, VG-Shipping, explained: “We wanted to produce the cleanest, most environmentally-efficient coasters of their class so we specified several ‘green’ solutions, including a ballast water management system, a Selective Catalytic Reduction system for reducing NOx emissions and the Ecospeed hull coating.
“We didn’t want to use a traditional antifouling system because of the chemicals that they contain and found that the Ecospeed solution was the most effective coating system for reducing drag.”
With these vessels operating in arctic waters, the owner requires a coating capable of withstanding ice impact. Polar trading is one of the biggest challenges for coatings manufacturers, since abrasive waters scratch and scrape conventional anti-fouling paints resulting in hull recoats after just one season. Subsea Industries’ hard coatings are developed to last even in the harshest of environments.
An ice-going hull coating must also have low friction characteristics in order to be fuel efficient. But it is not enough for the hull to be smooth and have low friction at launch. It must stay that way for the life of the vessel. Ecospeed will hold up and will not be damaged in the ice and so will remain smooth for the life of the vessel, thus saving fuel. Even if minor repairs are needed in drydock the original quality of the coating remains intact.
150 ice going hulls, including the newbuild research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough, have been coated with Ecospeed with great and conclusive results. This shows that they can withstand the impact of ice for many years on end.
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