The first publicly-disclosed commercial application for a marine coating featuring antifouling active substance Selektope will start on November 1 in Singapore, swiftly after developer I-Tech secured European Commission (EC) sign-off that the revolutionary substance can also be used by yards anywhere in Europe.
Formal EC adoption of the approval regulation has been signed by EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, meaning that Selektope is permitted for use under the EU Biocidal Products Directive in professional and non-professional antifouling products throughout the EU from January 1st, 2016. Selektope deters barnacles from settling on ship hulls by stimulating the swimming action of larvae. It is included as a 0.1% constituent of antifouling coatings – a fraction of the active substance needed to achieve comparable performance if traditional copper biocides are used.
I-Tech reached a non-exclusive commercial agreement covering the use of Selektope in 2014 with Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP). The first publicly-disclosed project will see a new copper-free product from CMP applied to the side-walls of the vessel Calypso for Swedish operator Laurin Maritime. The IMO II tanker is undergoing its first five year survey at Singapore yard Sembcorp. No special provisions are required beyond normal preparation work.
Managing Director of I-Tech Phillip Chaabane said: “We are delighted to receive sign-off from the EC. Now all antifouling coatings suppliers are at liberty to offer innovation by deploying Selektope, safe in the knowledge that they are fully approved in Japan, Korea, China and Europe.”
Chief Executive Officer of Laurin Maritime Mikael Laurin said: “We first took note of Selektope in 2010. Antifouling coatings have a major impact on fuel efficiency. Our ships operate in South East Asia and South America; port congestion can lead to vessels idling in tropical waters, bringing heavy fouling. I-Tech’s technology represents a major step in delivering an antifouling that performs the way we want, comparable to the performance achieved by antifouling coatings before the TBT ban in 2002.”
Masaya Hata, CMP General Manager (Sales), commented: “The extensive test applications we have made including Selektope have led us to plan for this coating to perform as a five-year period antifouling coating. We are convinced that our customers will save fuel using this coating; our plan is to evaluate performance on a working ship and position the new antifouling coating in the market over the coming three years.”
Selektope is patent protected in antifouling applications in all key shipbuilding and repair countries until 2026.