Adoption of robot-driven ship hull cleaning took another step forward following an agreement between Armach Robotics and Bellona, says an article published on Riviera.
They will work together to facilitate proactive hull cleaning using remotely controlled and autonomous robotics around the world and to reduce the risks of such solutions.
Benefits of hull cleaning
Bellona and Armach will co-ordinate with the Clean Hull Initiative, a consortium of industry stakeholders led by Jotun, in this endeavour.
Together, they aim to raise awareness and understanding among decision-makers in policy and the shipping business of the benefits of proactive hull cleaning.
“Biofouling is a global problem, and to solve a global problem we need to collaborate globally,” said Bellona chief executive Hallstein Havåg.
“This collaboration aims to accelerate the uptake of proactive hull cleaning, and to understand the limits and risks with such solutions,” Armach Robotics vice president for growth and strategy Rob Howard added.
Biofouling problems are significant for the environment, for ship operators and for the international shipping industry, as this leads to increased emissions and the spread of invasive species across continents.
Fouling slows the affected ship and can increase its fuel consumption by as much as 40%, boosting already high CO₂ emissions.
Better biofouling management of the global shipping fleet is associated with considerable economic and environmental benefits.
“Armach is dedicated to leading the industry with cutting-edge technological solutions for hull efficiency and proactive ship maintenance,”said Mr Howard.
“Our work with Bellona and others is crucial to informing and guiding an industry that is faced with rapid change around ship efficiency in the very near future with EEXI and CII regulations taking effect in 2023.”
Armach has developed and tested an autonomous hull cleaning robot for removing biofouling in ports and at sea.
In its latest project, Armach will trial the use of these autonomous units with the US Navy.
“Proactive hull cleaning has great potential to reduce the environmental footprint caused by international shipping,” said Mr Havåg.
“Bellona is working towards increasing international awareness and setting common standards, and our collaboration with Armach will only strengthen our ability to create a positive impact for climate and our environment.”
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