New antifouling coatings "can cut costs and emissions"

The chairman of the UK parliament’s All Party Maritime and Ports Group, Julian Brazier, and environmental campaigner Jonathon Porritt have welcomed a new report confirming the energy savings that can be achieved using new antifouling coatings.

According to a report from James Corbett of Energy and Environmental Research Associates, International Paint's Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology can reduce vessel greenhouse gas (GHG) and other emissions by an average of 9%.

International Paints are a sponsor of the Chemical & Product Tanker conference 8-9 March 2011 and will also be presenting at the conference.

Mr Brazier said: “The shipping industry is under significant pressure to demonstrate environmental leadership and innovation. This latest research suggests that viable solutions do exist. It also demonstrates the depth of innovation within UK manufacturing and the commitment and investment that is being made in developing ground-breaking technologies that can help to meet one of the biggest challenges that we face today.”

Prof Corbett’s study analysed the latest fuel consumption data of three vessel types with FFR coatings applied. The project used the Prem Divya, a single engine 21,126 horsepower (HP) tanker, the Ikuna, a twin engine 3,400 HP bulker and five identical post panamax container vessels, three of which were coated with TBT free polishing antifoulings and two with Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology.

The results showed that fuel consumption and therefore vessel emissions were reduced by 10% on the Prem Divya, 22% On the Ikuna and by 5% in the container vessels (based on all five ships carrying a comparable load). The report states that if similar fuel efficiency results were realised by all tanker and bulk cargo vessels within the commercial fleet that: “annual fuel oil consumption could be reduced by roughly 16m tonnes per year, fuel expenditures could be reduced by USD4.4bn to USD8.8bn per year, and nearly 49m tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided annually”.

The report showed that using FFRs would achieve cost savings. The Prem Divya delivered a total annual fuel cost saving of USD251,000 based on a 2009 average bunker price (USD$387 per tonne). While Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology would cost USD645,000 more over a nine year period than a biocidal alternative, if this figure is deducted from 2009 bunker costs and projected over the same time period, the owners of Prem Divya would save USD1.614m. If current bunker prices of USD640 / tonne were used for the calculation, the annual savings would be USD415,000 and the projected net savings over 9 years would be USD3.09 million.