Sohar Welcomes Welcomes Move to Bring GAC Hull Cleaning Robots to the Port

Sohar Port chief says GAC's hull cleaning system would revolutionise the industry and put Sohar on the map in terms of environmental technology.

Andre Toet, CEO at Sohar Port, in an emailed press release has welcomed a decision by the Oman Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) to allow GAC EnvironHull to apply for a licence to operate its hull cleaning technology at the port.

GAC Environhull launched the HullWiper hull cleaning robot last year and has now been permitted to apply to Sohar for a licence to operate the unmanned cleaning systems at the port.

Toet welcomed the move, saying "Oman would revolutionise its shipping industry in the blink of an eye" and that HullWiper would put Sohar Port on the map as far as technological innovation is concerned.

GAC's HullWiper is said to be faster than using divers and eliminates the risk taken by the divers themselves.

HullWiper also avoids traditional brushing, and with it damage to antifouling hull coatings, as well as not discharging waste water into the sea.

Toet said, even the higher cost per square metre is justifiable due to increased speed and reduced incidental damage compared to traditional methods.

"While the initial cost of around US$3.5 per square metre is higher than the US$1.2 spent on divers, when you take into consideration the average US$6 damage caused to anti-fouling surfaces, the EnvironHull ROV is competitive.

"On top of this, at 1,000-1,500 square metres per hour, it is also up to five times faster," he said.

Hull condition is on many shipowners' agendas as companies look to fuel efficiency gains achievable through hull optimisations.

Akzo Nobel Thursday said two shipowners to be awarded carbon credits with a combined value of almost $500,000 as a result of the shipowners' use of Akzo Nobel's Intersleek coatings.



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