November 03, 2014: Chief Executive Andre Toet has said the decision to allow GAC EnvironHull permission to seek a license to operate its remotely operated hull cleaning systems at SOHAR can revolutionise the industry and put Oman and its forward-thinking leadership firmly on the world map when it comes to technological innovation.
The unmanned, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly remotely operated vehicle uses the latest in underwater cleaning technologies to keep ships free from marine fouling and allow owners to optimise fuel consumption and the overall performance of their vessels. In doing so they will eliminate damage caused by traditional cleaning, remove risks faced by human divers, and stop waste being discharged into the sea.
"The traditional process of brushing can be damaging to the anti-fouling surfaces of a ships' hull over time – not to mention quite time consuming. However, were the EnvironHull ROV to operate at SOHAR, Oman would revolutionise its shipping industry in the blink of eye. Ships could be cleaned while cargo is loaded and unloaded, the removal of harmful marine growth would increase fuel efficiency, and all of that will have consequences for both health and safety and the global environment," said Toet.
"While the initial cost of around US$3.5 per square metre is higher than the US$1.2 spent on divers, when you take into consideration the average US$6 damage caused to anti-fouling surfaces, the EnvironHull ROV is a competitive. On top of this, at 1,000-1,500 square metres per hour, it is also up to five times faster."
Permission for the pioneering cleaning service to seek a license was effectively granted by the (Oman) Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) earlier this week, and is part of a broad environmental initiative at SOHAR.
"Oman has one of the world's lowest carbon footprints, at 0.17 percent, and while our growth strategy is ambitious, it remains rooted in the environment. This is the basis for [our] environmental programmes and workshops, and is also behind the hull cleaning and LNG services," said SOHAR Freezone CEO Jamal Aziz.