The Spanish port of Valencia could be set to break Algeciras’ virtual vessel maintenance services monopoly in the country, thanks to the availability of the eco-friendly HullWiper hull cleaner, according to the Managing Director of the company behind the diver-free system.
“Until now, hull cleaning in Spain has largely been associated with Algeciras, at the southern tip of the country, due to the concentration of maintenance companies using traditional methods there,” says GAC EnvironHull’s Simon Doran. “But that could be changing. With the availability of HullWiper, Valencia is featuring more and more on the radar of owners and operators looking for an alternative that makes sound economical and ecological sense.”
The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) cleans hulls without compromising hull coatings, or putting human life and the sensitive marine environment at risk. Instead of divers with brushes, HullWiper uses adjustable water jets to remove fouling and collects the debris for environmentally-sound disposal. The ROV is operated from shore with the help of lights and cameras, and cleaning can be carried out at any time, day or night, in most weather conditions, even during loading or unloading.
Valencia is one of a growing number of ports to recognize HullWiper as a viable alternative to traditional hull cleaning using divers and brush carts, and has granted it permission to operate in its waters. The system is also offered at a variety of locations elsewhere in Europe as well as in the Middle East and Asia.
Furtheromre, GAC EnvironHull is offering the incentive of a 20% discount on all HullWiper cleans conducted at Valencia. It’s a strategy that supports Doran’s view that earning the confidence of the industry is a key challenge in the transition from traditional hull cleaning techniques.
“Word of mouth is a powerful tool in the shipping industry,” he says. “As the message spreads about the benefits of HullWiper at ports like Valencia, the next question ship owners and operators will ask is how the technology could benefit them.
“The concept of hull cleaning is being reinvented in the context of today’s emerging technologies, including HullWiper. For new hull cleaning solutions to fulfil their potential, the long-term and multi-faceted benefits for owners and operators must be communicated effectively. HullWiper is much more than a maintenance measure, both here in Valencia and globally.”