Stolt Tankers’ Stolt Lotus has become the first vessel in the world to be coated using Canadian firm Graphite Innovation & Technologies’ (GIT) X-GIT FUEL graphene-based hull coating solution, which is believed to offer significant reductions in fuel consumption.
The 30,000-deadweight vessel spent five days drydocked in China where the sustainable hull coating was applied. Reckoned to have a 10-year lifespan it will be subject to a maintenance check after five years. X-GIT FUEL is described as a hard foul release hull coating that creates an ultra-low friction surface to increase vessel performance, without the use of biocides, silicon oils or other toxic components. According to X-GIT’s projections it will translate into fuel savings of between five and seven percent.
Stolt Tankers and GIT have developed a close working relationship in recent years, with more than 40 ships in Stolt’s fleet with the XGIT-PROP propeller coating solution during 2023, following a successful trial with Stolt Acer during 2022. Like many major operators, Stolt Tankers has been keen to emphasise its decarbonisation ambitions, targeting a 50% reduction in the carbon intensity of its fleet (relative to the 2008 baseline) by 2030.
GIT was founded in 2016 and began testing of its marine coating solution the following year. Earlier this year it also announced a partnership with Singapore-based operator Eastern Pacific Shipping that will see 15 vessels’ propellers coated with XGIT-PROP at dry dockings during 2023 and 2024.