Two innovative corrosion protection coating systems, Ecospeed and Ecoshield were on display at the Hydrex booth at this year’s Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference held in Amsterdam.
Ecospeed is a glassflake reinforced, hard, non-toxic ship hull coating system which is applied once to ship hulls and lasts the life of the vessel. It is easy to clean in the water and becomes smoother over time with cleaning. It is classified as a surface treated composite (STC). Ecospeed is designed to be cleaned regularly in the water to keep fouling to a minimum and improve fuel efficiency. When used on offshore vessels and structures, it can be cleaned as often as needed to preserve the integrity of the steel and facilitate class inspections.
Ecoshield is a special formulation of the glassflake coating which is designed specifically to protect rudders, bulbous bows, stabilizer fins, Kort nozzles and other parts of the underwater ship which are particularly prone to wear, damage or the forces of cavitation.
During an interview with Mr. Rob Wolthuizen at the Hydrex booth, he confirmed that the Hydrex company Subsea Industries recently launched Ecoshield for underwater gear and structures where extreme protection is required.
“Both Ecospeed and Ecoshield are products which has at least 20 years service life,” he said. “It offers near-ultimate corrosion protection.There is always marine growth on subsea structures and this needs to be cleaned. Both Ecospeed and Ecoshield can be cleaned . Because it can be cleaned as often as needed in the water without damage to coating or environment, it makes it easy for vessels and structures to be inspected. It offers FPSO operators the opportunity to remove growth and perform regular in-water inspections of the hull.“
Wolthuizen also explained Ecospeed’s advantages for ships: „Ecospeed is used for the entire underwater hull of ships. It was designed with in-water cleaning in mind. We do that with special teams of divers using our own special underwater cleaning equipment. Frequency of cleaning varies between one and four times a year depending on the area where the ship is sailing and the ship’s pattern of operation.
“Because you can clean the submerged surfaces of the ship, you can always sail with a clean hull, and always a clean hull means always a lower fuel consumption.
“Glassflake technology gives Ecospeed a very high resistance to mechanical impact. It is also an ideal coating for ice-going ships and icebreakers and is certified as ice abrasion resistant, also permitting shipbuilders to reduce the scantlings of ice-going vessels where Ecospeed is used to coat the hull,“ he added.
Asked about Hydrex’s mobile dock (mobdock) Wolthuizen said: “Mobdocks provide a dry underwater environment where divers can work while the ship is afloat. Over the years Hydrex has pioneered and developed many varieties of mobdocks, leading the industry with this technology.” He also mentioned that Hydrex has its own workboats which greatly facilitate rapid response to offshore operations.
When asked about Hydrex’s plans for the future, Wolthuizen said: “There is a quite growing demand for underwater ship repair stemming from the fact that ships don’t like to go into dry-dock due to the expense and inconvenience.
“Hydrex has come up with many solutions which make it possible for repairs and maintenance, normally restricted to drydock, can be carried in situ with the ship at anchor or quayside. The repair can be scheduled for the ship’s next port of call and preparations carried out in advance for a very fast turnaround during normal ship operations. The repair may take one or two days, but this is much faster than opting to drydock, saving much time and expense.“
Regarding the speculations about Hydrex’s tidal turbine development plans Wolthuizen said: “The only information I can give is that the patent is pending and that a scale model is being manufactured.!
Boud van Rompay, CEO of Hydrex, added: “We can’t say too much about it because it is in the intellectual property stage, but it will be revolutionary.“
Wolthuizen concluded the interview by sharing his impressions of Offshore Energy 2013: “I’ve followed this exhibition from the very beginning when it started in Den Helder, and liked it from the start. It has grown from a regional exhibition into a much more international one and I hope that the organizers will maintain its spirit. It is a very important exhibition for the Dutch industry and for the promotion of Dutch companies.“
Subsea World News Staff, October 24, 2013; Image: Hydrex