HullWiper is expanding its operations in Gibraltar in partnership with global ship fuel conservation and underwater services provider SCAMP, with a second underwater hull cleaning unit that will be operational in the first quarter of 2020.
About 60 hull cleans have been carried out in the Port of Gibraltar by HullWiper since its launch there in 2017. Growing demand for safe, eco-friendly in-port hull cleans will be met with HullWiper’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) operating in the Strait of Gibraltar day or night, quickly, cleanly and efficiently. With the second unit, cleaning operations will start on the east side of Gibraltar.
HullWiper’s underwater diverless and brush-free cleaning technology uses adjustable natural seawater jets to dislodge and remove biofouling without the abrasive scrubbing or harsh chemicals employed by traditional methods. The ROV collects marine fouling removed from hulls, rather than releasing it into port waters and risking the spread of invasive marine species. Captured residues are pumped into the ROV onboard Filter unit and deposited into dedicated drums onshore, protecting both the marine environment and the customer from potential fines or penalties. And as no divers are involved, the ROV also saves costs and reduces the risk to human life.
Freddie Pitto, SCAMP General Manager Shipping Services, said: “This second HullWiper ROV enables us to provide even more vessels with reliable and efficient hull cleans to ensure they leave for their next destination foul-free.”
Traditional hull cleaning methods generally restrict requirements for hull cleans with deep drafts or during harsh weather conditions. Deep draft restrictions do not apply to HullWiper and cleaning can be carried out even in adverse weather conditions.
HullWiper Managing Director Simon Doran said: “Freddie Pitto and the SCAMP team have successfully integrated ROV cleaning into their day-to-day operations. Using the ROV enables them to attend laden vessels and makes hull-cleaning safer by removing the risk to life when divers are involved.”
Since its launch in late 2013, HullWiper has expanded from its first base in Dubai to include key locations across the Middle East, as well as ports in Australia, Denmark, Egypt, Gibraltar, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and – most recently – Panama and Mauritius. Plans are in the pipeline for new locations including Sri Lanka, Korea, South Africa, Chile and Bahamas. HullWiper is also available for lease where the company does not have its own base.
To date, HullWiper has attended more than 1,000 vessels for hull cleans worldwide.