Shiprepair & Maintenance: 3rd Quarter 2020
Denmark’s Hempel group continues to expand its marine coatings portfolio for ships in service. Its latest fouling defence hull coating, Hempaguard MaX was launched in late 2019 and has already generated considerable market interest, the company says.
Hempaguard MaX is a three-coat hull solution comprising an anti-corrosive primer, Hempaprime Immerse 900; a tie coat, Nexus II; and a topcoat, Hempaguard X8. Andreas Glud, group segment manager, marine, drydock, says: “When used together, these three layers complement each other to provide unparalleled protection. For shipowners and operators, one of the most significant advantages is that Hempaguard MaX delivers an exceptionally smooth surface to considerably lower average hull roughness, which in turn reduces fouling drag and fuel use. Thanks to this, the vessel can move with less friction through the water.”
The system is suitable for all vessel types and is claimed to remain fully effective in both warm and cold waters, and at slow and normal speeds, including idle periods of up to 120 days.
A significant advantage highlighted by Hempel is that the Hempaguard MaX system is applied in just three layers as opposed to traditional five-coat systems, meaning it can be applied more quickly, reducing time in drydock by up to two days.
Glud claims: “The combined savings generated by Hempaguard MaX through reduced time in drydock and increased fuel savings will quickly pay back the cost of the coating.” Based on a VLCC with an activity level of 70% and burning low sulphur fuel costing 35% more than standard bunker fuel over a five-year life cycle, Hempel claims the Hempaguard MaX system delivers annual savings of around US$1.8 million compared to a typical antifouling. This equates to a return on investment of just three months.
Another product included amongst Hempel’s fouling defence coating systems, and which uses the same technology that Hempaguard MaX is built on, is Hempaguard X7. This coating first came to the market in 2013 and has now been adopted as a hull coating solution by more than 1,700 vessels. “The impact of this product is remarkable as it is responsible for more than US$500 million of fuel savings and over 10 million tonnes in CO2 emissions since it was launched,“ Glud suggests.
Hempel points out that the Covid-19 pandemic has created challenges in carrying out maintenance work due to temporary lockdowns that have been enforced. “Thankfully we have been overcome these and find solutions through collaboration and close cooperation with our customers,” states Glud.
Looking beyond the global pandemic Hempel believes that shipowners will focus increasingly on sustainability. “The future is sustainable operations, and we are seeing more and more of our customers putting this at the top of their agenda. Products such as Hempaguard X7 and Hempaguard MaX are solutions that help customers reach their sustainability goals through fuel savings and reduced CO2 emissions, and we will continue to develop coatings that help build a more sustainable future,” Glud concludes.
As well as product R&D, Hempel is investing in production capacity capable of meeting demand for sustainable coatings types. In May this year Hempel began construction of a new factory in Yantai Chemical Industrial Park, China, that will have a production capacity of more than 100,000tonnes per year. The plant is expected to be inaugurated in 2021.