GAC Qatar has been licensed by Qatar’s Environment Ministry to operate HullWiper cleaning equipment in its waters. HullWiper’s remotely operated vehicle complies with Qatar’s strict regulations, which include collecting 100% of biofouling removed during cleaning for safe disposal at the Qatar Petroleum (QP) facility after a QP test, and maintaining proper cleaning records for monthly submissions to the QP Environment office.
All fouling removed from the hull during cleaning is captured in its unique onboard filter unit, and a detailed report of the operation is produced. The agreement with GAC Qatar was signed under HullWiper’s leasing programme, which was introduced in 2017. The programme enables HullWiper to work with partners around the world to offer shipowners and operators a cost-efficient, brush- and diver-free alternative to traditional hull cleaning methods, that protects both the ocean and expensive antifouling vessel hull coatings.
Owners and operators benefit from a clean hull without extra downtime or harm to the marine ecosystem. The system uses adjustable seawater jets instead of brushes or abrasives as the cleaning medium to minimise the risk of damage to coatings. Removing fouling from a vessel’s hull results in optimal performance, energy efficiency, reduced CO2 emissions and avoids the expense of recoating in case of damage.
As no divers are used, there is no risk to human life, and cleaning can be conducted day or night, in most weather conditions, while cargo operations are underway. “Qatar is the region’s biggest LNG exporter with more than 70 ships transporting cargo all over the world,” said HullWiper’s Managing Director, Simon Doran. “With the increase of LNG production, and other ships operating in the country, the number of vessels calling at its ports is expected to grow significantly and HullWiper’s operational presence at Ras Laffan will support Qatar’s initiative for safer, cleaner and greener shipping with its hull cleaning solutions.”