SAFETY4SEA: What are currently the biggest challenges towards antifouling from your perspective?
George Vranakis: Currently the biggest challenges facing the antifouling paints are both of techno- commercial and scientific nature. From the commercial perspective the quantification of the antifouling performance using unanimously accepted standards is still a procedure being at its infancy. The standard ISO 19030 in the development of which our company has been one of the main contributors is a solid basis to be used in the energy performance departments of ship operators in order to assess and evaluate antifouling performance. We hope very soon to see the KPIs of this standard as a reference point of AF performance in the commercial contracts of shipping. From the scientific perspective the development of novel methods or products with a high environmental profile and combining various technologies such as nano-technology, and surface chemistry is a challenge as long as they are still away from a pragmatic alternative matching the performance of the existing solutions.
S4S: What is your advice for choosing the right marine coatings & chemicals?
G.V.: I believe that the right selection of any paint system should start with the identification of the operational needs expected to be covered by the system and identified through an open discussion with the customer. Then additional factors like expected service life of the system, maintenance or repair policy of the company as well as initial invested capital will complete the profile of the proposed solution. As an example, let us consider the selection of a painting system for the cargo holds of a bulker. The general requirements for all cargo holds are advanced mechanical properties, fast drying at all temperatures, long lasting corrosion resistance, smooth and hard surface. However, these properties are not exhibited at the same level from all coatings depending on their ranking as standard, advanced or premium and with different unit costs. The proper selection then -the best choice within the available budget - will be based after discussion with operators on two main considerations: a) type of cargo to be transported and b) initial investment and maintenance cost. Expected and actual performance should be next discussed, considering the technical issues related with the application, drying, etc. of the system.
S4S: Can you give us details of any recent successful use of Jotun with respect to fuel efficiency?
G.V.: The quantification of the performance of an antifouling paint has been traditionally one of the biggest challenges for ship operators. The launching back in 2011 of our Hull performance solutions(HPS), the first “performance-linked “system in the shipping industry for the antifouling protection of the vessels, gave us the possibility through our Jotun’s hull performance measurement method to collect, classify and analyze a lot of data related to the different antifouling technologies. In doing so we obtained valuable insights into the possibilities of each technology under a variety of operating conditions. Therefore, we are in the position today to help ship operators to meet their business objectives by recommending the antifouling coating that best fit the operational profile of their vessel. This also suits best our business philosophy which is based on the provision of the optimum solutions to our customers and not just selling a product at a given price HPS is a long term efficient package.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.