The Matter of Biofouling

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about biofouling. A word coined to describe marine life attached to ship hulls, it is seen as a ship speed breaker, a destructive factor to hull coatings and a cause of alien invasive species. To call it fouling is in fact a misnomer. It is marine life and it was there first, long before any ship or boat had entered any water.

The situation with marine invasive species is twofold being carried around the globe in ballast tanks on the one hand and riding on the outside of ship hulls on the other.

In ballast tanks the problem comes down to any life that exists in water. From bacteria to larvae to small fish and anything in between. Because it is traveling in dark conditions with zinc anodes present, this problem is much smaller than the real problem posed by the ship hull.

Allegedly around 600-700 species are traveling on the outside of ship hulls. Six years ago we published a White Paper on the subject titled: Invasive Aquatic Species – A proposed alternative solution. In it we gave a summation of the problem and how to correctly deal with it. The basic viewpoint is simple: we do not want to handle this with a toxic solution. There are very good reasons for this.

A very negative and toxic influence is exercised on marine life traveling on the hulls. It is proven by various publications that animal life and algae are influenced by the many varied toxins in the coating. The continued toxic presence on and around the hull, from pesticides to heavy metals to pharmaceutical derivatives, have a detrimental effect.

By traveling on a toxic ship hull the animals become more resistant. In our white paper we called these gladiator species because they have become chemically stronger than the marine life of the different environmental zones they arrive in. The local populations are less adapted and give in to the newcomers. This alone is reason enough to look for other solutions.

Our viewpoint is that there is no such thing as a toxic solution for the mitigation of invasive species. As we do not know exactly what we are doing to marine life, we cannot see this as a responsible action. We have no idea how much and how many we are thus influencing. There is no control on the process.

What needs to be considered is the toughness and tenacity of marine life. Amongst the oldest species on this planet, they have developed an exceptional resistance to external factors and that does include chemicals and heavy metals.

With toxins we either kill the marine life or render it sick. This biomatter will then enter the food chain to a greater or lesser degree.

The situation thus created requires a lot more attention and a much closer look from all the players involved: authorities, scientists, technology developers, manufacturers and regulators.

From our side and as a group that has pioneered a totally non-toxic approach, we have firmly established that with our solution we have no influence whatsoever on marine life.

To achieve an environmentally safe solution for ship hulls, we have looked at how to safely wash ships before they leave port.

A full washdown of the ships is the best solution. It requires a system that allows to clean any size ship in less than an hour on a coating that will not emit particles.

Sister company  Hydrex (www.hydrex.be) is now working on underwater hull cleaning technology that will produce cleaning rates of 100.000 m² per hour or more. It does not require divers or visibility and can be used in a current.

This means that even the biggest ships can be cleaned in a very short time. They can be washed before they leave port and sail to a different environmental zone free of biofouling. When they arrive they can discharge and load again and when they leave they can be cleaned in the same fashion. During continued sailing, no marine growth is acquired on the hull as this only happens during stops.

This process also considerably optimizes the speed of the ships. Fuel consumption will be at its best attainable level and large fuel savings are thus achieved. These alone will pay for the effort many times over.

Join us at Nor-Shipping 2019

Subsea Industries will be present at Nor-Shipping in Oslo, Norway from June 4 until June 7. We would like to welcome you at our booth C01-30a, Holland pavilion.

If you would like to learn more about how Subsea Industries can assist you, please visit our booth at Nor-Shipping. Our team will be happy to give you the information you need. You can also contact one of our offices if you would like to make an appointment for the exhibition or if you need assistance.

+32 3 213 53 18
info@subind.net

On the road with Subsea Industries' teams

The first months of the year have been busy for Subsea Industries and Hydrex with both of the companies’ coatings and hull care teams attending key maritime events across the globe as part of their aim to optimise their market share in the marine sector. 

Kick-starting the 2019 exhibition and conference schedule was a visit to Istanbul to exhibit at the increasingly well-attended Exposhipping event in Istanbul. This biennial event has grown exponentially over recent years with the 15th edition welcoming over 200 exhibitors and 6.000 visitors from 41 countries.

Exposhipping was opened with the participation of President of IMEAK Chamber of Shipping Tamer Kiran, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ship Yacht and Services Exporters Union Cem Seven, UBM General Manager Atilla Marangozoglu, and the representatives of the maritime sector.

“For us, the event was an enormous success,” said Subsea Industries, Production Executive Manuel Hof. “We have had some very positive enquiries from a number of potential buyers and were able to close a very important deal during the event.”

Europort Turkey was followed in quick succession by Sea Asia, Singapore’s foremost maritime exhibition and conference.

“Despite the offshore sectors downturn, the Lion State continues to be an important, strategically-placed maritime hub so it is crucial that we have a presence at this event,” said Hof.

Hydrex Sales Officer Steven De Keyzer added: “We were also pleased to have several meetings with potential business partners.”

According to the exhibition’s post-event press release, the7th biennial Sea Asia Conference and Exhibition saw outstanding visitor engagement with more than 400 exhibiting companies, as well as highly insightful and thought-provoking conference sessions across the three days.

The event saw a record 13 national pavilions including new attendees from Oman, Poland and Turkey. In addition to the lively and informative sessions, attendees had the opportunity to hear from leading maritime and technology companies as part of a comprehensive schedule of seminars.

Subsea Industries and Hydrex will continue their roadshow with Nor-Shipping in Oslo.

Ecospeed wins Arctic Innovation Award 2019

On April 2, Subsea Industries won the Arctic Innovation Award 2019 for its Ecospeed non-toxic hull coating. The winner of the award was announced at the Arctic Shipping Forum held at the Paasitorni Congress Centre in Helsinki, Finland.


According to the organizers the panel of independent judges consisting of leading Arctic specialists gave the award to “the company or individual that has developed the most innovative new technology, environmental practice or service to benefit the Arctic region.”

About the award Subsea Industries CEO Boud Van Rompay said: “We are very proud to have been given this award by important members of the Arctic shipping community. This recognition strengthens us to keep pursuing our goal of clean rivers, seas and oceans.”

Join us at Exposhipping 2019

Subsea Industries will be present at Exposhipping in Istanbul from  April 2 to 5 together with our agent for Turkey: Amat Engineering. We would like to welcome you at  booth D-115 .

If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you, please  visit us during the event. Our team will be happy to give you the  information you need.

Join us at Sea Asia 2019

Subsea Industries will be present at Sea Asia in Singapore from  April 9 to 11 together with our agent for Singapore: Pamarine. We would like to welcome you at  booth B2-H18 .

If you would like to learn more about how we can assist you, please  visit us during the event. Our team will be happy to give you the  information you need.

Subsea Industries wins Environmental Protection Award at the 10th IBJ Awards

On November 19, Subsea Industries won the Environmental Protection Award at the 10th IBJ Awards, held at The Eskimo Factory in Ghent. The award was presented by Ray Girvan, Publisher of International Bulk Journal and Femke Brenninkmeijer, Port of Amsterdam’s Head of Energy, Bulk, Agri, Breakbulk & Offshore.


Public Relations Officer Tamara Slight accepted the award on behalf of our company. She said: "We are delighted to receive this prestigious award. We know that the judges are highly expert and discriminating and we take the award as a very valuable acknowledgement for our achievements with our line of environmentally friendly coating systems.”

Subsea Industries at SMM 2018

Last month Subsea Industries and Hydrex took part in SMM 2018 in Hamburg, together with 2.288 other exhibitors. This year’s event was attended by 50.000 trade visitors from more than 120 countries, once again highlighting SMM’s importance as the leading international maritime trade fair.

Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, was highly pleased with the outcome of the four-day event: “SMM 2018 was a full success, not only for us as the organisers but also, and especially so, for the exhibitors and visitors. We again welcomed the Who's Who of the maritime world to our exhibition halls this year, and we have seen again that there is nothing that can replace the person-to-person interaction between the key players of the sector. We successfully addressed the shipping community’s most pressing issues, delivering fresh impetus for the future."*

The Hydrex/ Subsea Industries booth was a popular meeting spot, strategically located on a corner as part of the Dutch pavilion. As always representatives of both companies were ready to give precise and on point answers to visitors.

SMM 2018 was a great success and we would like to thank all of you who visited us there for coming. We look forward to working with you on an ongoing basis. If you want to find out how our products can benefit you, feel free to contact us. We will gladly help you in any way we can.

+32 3 213 53 18
info@subind.net



* SMM: Maritime Sector Shows Strength and Innovative Power, https://www.smm-hamburg.com/en/press-service/press-service/news/press-release/article/smm-maritime-branche-zeigt-staerke-und-innovationskraft/, accessed September 27 2018.

Ecospeed on the Mersey

The hull of the polar research ship RRS Sir David Attenborough was officially launched in July protected by the most environmentally-safe hull coating ever developed: Subsea Industries’ ice abrasion resistant and washable Ecospeed.

Commenting on the success of the vessel’s launch into the River Mersey from the Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, Manuel Hof, Subsea Industries’ production executive, said: “RRS Sir David Attenborough is now afloat with a hull protected by the same Ecospeed coating that has protected its sisters, Ernest Shackleton and James Clark Ross, for many years. It was incredibly exciting to watch the launch of this important vessel.”

When the vessel is delivered to British Antarctic Survey in 2019, it will undertake world-leading environmental research into climate change and ocean protection. As such, the vessel required a fully ice-strengthened coating, without being harmful to the environment. “Ecospeed fulfils that requirement,” said Hof. 

“Ecospeed is a safe, hard-type coating with zero toxic compounds. It eliminates the potential pollution of polar waters with heavy metals or biocides and hull contamination during research activities, which is extremely important to the scientific work the vessel will carry out.

“The hard coating completely mitigates against the leaching of chemicals into the marine environment,” said Hof.

Subsea Industries’ Chairman Boud Van Rompay said: “We are delighted that Cammell Laird and BAS have successfully launched RRS Sir David Attenborough. The vessel is a showcase for an array of sophisticated technologies and systems, of which Ecospeed is one.”

The 15,000gt research vessel, scheduled for operational duties in 2019, will be one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. The 128m long vessel will be capable of 60 days at sea without re-supply, covering a range of 18,898 nautical miles at 13 knots.

Subsea Industries at Posidonia 2018

In June Hydrex and Subsea Industries took part in Posidonia 2018, together with our agent for Greece: N. Bogdanos Marine Bureau. The exhibition was a very successful one for everyone involved and we are already looking forward to the next edition.

The event set new records in terms of exhibitor floor space, size of  conference program and number of visitors. In total, 2009 exhibiting companies from 92 countries and territories and 22 national pavilions welcomed 23.000 visitors to their stands.

According to the exhibition’s post-event press release, the proof points of the show’s unparalleled appeal and success were evident each of the five days on the exhibition floor and conference facilities of the venue, where a great number of business deals were struck and issues and trends of concern to the international maritime industry were debated.

Theodore Vokos, Executive Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A. said:  “The list of new business deals goes on and on as multi-million dollar deals on the Posidonia Exhibition floor is the norm, being the most eagerly awaited trade event in the biennial shipping calendar. This year, on our 50 year anniversary, we have witnessed a tremendous response from the global shipping community whose presence and activity helped us deliver the most dynamic Posidonia ever.”

Hydrex Sales Officer Steven De Keyzer was present during the entire event. He told us that he had many networking opportunities throughout the exhibition and the N. Bogdanos booth was bustling with activity from start to finish. “Posidonia 2018 was a great success for us. I met many interesting people from the shipping industry,” said Steven. “We reinforced existing relationships while new business opportunities  presented themselves.”

We would like to thank all of you who visited us there for coming and  look forward to working with you on an ongoing basis. We would also like to invite you to come and visit us during SMM 2018 at the Holland  Pavilion in Hall B7, booth 505.

Join us at SMM 2018

Subsea Industries will be present at SMM in Hamburg, Germany from September 4 until September 7. We would like to welcome you at our booth 505 in hall B7, Holland pavilion.

If you would like to learn more about how Subsea Industries can assist you, please visit our booth at SMM. Our team will be happy to give you the information you need. You can also contact one of our offices if you would like to make an appointment for the exhibition or if you need assistance.

Join us at Posidonia 2018

Subsea Industries will be present at Posidonia 2018 together with our agent for Greece: N. Bogdanos Marine Bureau. We would like to welcome you at booth 2.102 in hall 2.

If you would like to learn more about how Subsea Industries can assist you, please visit our booth at Posidonia. Our team will be happy to give you the information you need. You can also contact one of our offices if you would like to make an appointment for the exhibition or if you need assistance.

Stay up to date: subscribe to our monthly magazine on paper or to our weekly newsletter in your mailbox