In-transit hull cleaning tech trial leads to fuel savings for Stolt Tankers

Stolt Tankers says an in-transit hull cleaning trial has led to a reduction in fuel consumption.

The trial was carried out using Shipshave’s ITCH (In-Transit Cleaning of Hulls) on board the 29,709 DWT Stolt Acer as she sailed from Port Said, Egypt to Algeciras, Spain.

‘The results of the initial trial were very positive,’ commented Jose Gonzalez Celis, Energy and Conservation Manager at Stolt Tankers. ‘We saw a reduction of fuel consumption during the voyage, and this when combined with some of the other technological developments we are investigating will have a significant impact on our overall fuel consumption.’

Stolt Tankers says it is exploring several technical solutions to support the transition to a low-carbon maritime industry ‘until more environmentally friendly fuels are readily available’ – and the tanker company plans to expand the Shipshave trial to five more ships.

‘Traditionally, ship owners tend to have a reactive approach to vessel maintenance, rather than taking preventive measures,’ said Lucas Vos, President Stolt Tankers. ‘As part of our continuous improvement mindset we have turned that idea on its head and found that taking a more proactive stance before biofouling has a chance to settle on a ship’s hull is a far more sensible approach.

‘Reducing the marine growth on the underwater hull of our ships by applying Shipshave’s innovative solution is just one of the ways in which we are improving our energy efficiency with the aim of reducing our carbon intensity by 50% (relative to 2008 levels) by 2030.’

Shipshave’s ITCH performs hull cleaning while the vessel is sailing to prevent the early-stage growth of hull biofouling. Stolt Tankers noted that class society DNV has performed a consumption assessment calculation and found that Shipshave’s technology can deliver fuel savings ‘of around 10%’ when used regularly.

Image: Stolt Tankers

Rhys Berry