ECOsubsea, the Norwegian provider of hull cleaning technology, has secured contracts to clean in North European ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge.
The cleaning system has now been approved for use in the two North European ports following around 500 vessel cleanings in Southampton and Norway and its proven ability to meet strict environmental requirements, the company explained.
The ECOsubsea technology consists of a remotely operated vehicle that cleans the ship’s hull moving across the surface like a big lawn mower.
Tor Østervold, one of the founders of ECOsubsea, said: “Our operation in Antwerp and Zeebrugge represents a significant milestone for ECOsubsea. Both Antwerp and Zeebrugge have been frontrunners within environmental regulations, and for us it has been important to provide a solution fully complying with the strictest standards. In addition, Antwerp and Zeebrugge are large ports serving many of our existing customers, but also many potential new customers.”
Port authorities are becoming increasingly concerned about the risks posed by shipping and what a vessel can and cannot discharge into local waters.
Increasingly, ports are taking a zero-tolerance approach, making it harder for owners to find an opportunity to ensure their vessels have clean hulls that help reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions.
Luc Van Espen from the Port of Antwerp said: “We are happy to welcome companies such as ECOsubsea, that have the technology available to clean ship’s hulls in a sustainable way. This not only preserves our dock waters from being polluted by alien species and heavy metals, but also offers a new service to our shipping lines, in a way that even sometimes ships deviate towards Antwerp in order to be cleaned, bunkered and repaired at the same time.”
Joachim Coens, CEO Port of Zeebrugge added: “As a port authority with a Clean Port strategy, we applaud companies like ECOsubsea for offering an environmentally friendly ROV hull cleaning service in our port to our clients. Every measure or innovation in the shipping industry that reduces the CO² footprint of vessels will result in a more sustainable industry globally.”