The removal of marine fouling from the DFDS Group’s cruise ferry ‘Pearl Seaways’ marked the latest in more than 550 hull cleaning operations carried out by GAC’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) HullWiper worldwide.
It took 7.5 hours to complete the cleaning of the ferry’s hull, whilst she was berthed at Copenhagen.
Gert Jakobsen, Vice President of the DFDS Group, explained: “We pride ourselves on our environmental credentials, so it was essential that whatever system we chose could handle waste water and not contaminate the local marine ecosystem with debris and fouling material.
“DFDS also cares about safety – and the ability to use a remotely operated vehicle instead of divers and brush carts was a definite advantage. This made choosing HullWiper to clean the ‘Pearl Seaways’ an obvious choice,” he said.
In addition to the benefits of greater safety, pollution avoidance, improved performance, reduced fuel consumption and fewer carbon emissions, a clean hull plays a key role in forming the first impressions of passengers when boarding a ship.
“We are always looking at markets that can benefit from HullWiper’s approach to cleaning and the cruise industry ticks all the boxes,” said GAC EnvironHull Managing Director, Simon Doran. “Time is critical in the cruise sector, so delivering a fast hull clean with minimum disruption is paramount.
“Further, as cruise liners generally have top-quality hull coatings, it’s important to avoid any damage caused by brushes or abrasives. By using adjustable sea water jets to remove fouling, HullWiper eliminates that risk, and offers a huge long-term saving.
“Cleaning the ‘Pearl Seaways’ represented an important landmark for GAC EnvironHull, one of what we expect to be many from the cruise sector,” he claimed.
Launched in Dubai in December, 2013, the diver and brush-free HullWiper ROV delivers a foul-free hull with little or no down-time, whilst preserving both the delicate marine eco-system and human life.
It uses water jets to remove fouling rather than brushes or other abrasives, which can damage expensive coatings and collects debris from the operation for environmentally approved disposal on land, thus reducing the risk of cross-pollination of waters with alien species.
HullWiper’s network includes ports in Sweden, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, United Arab Emirates and on an ad-hoc basis at other key locations in the Middle East.