UAE-based HullWiper has established its first operations base in the Americas to provide hull cleaning service to the vessels sailing through the Panama Canal.

The company established the base in collaboration with subsea services provider Talleres Industriales.

It is the latest extension of HullWiper’s global leasing programme, which was introduced in 2017.

As part of this programme, HullWiper has established a partnership to offer a brush and diver-free alternative to traditional hull cleaning methods that protect the anti-fouling coating on vessel hulls.

The firm’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) system uses adjustable seawater jets under adjustable pressure to remove fouling.

Cleaning can be carried out around the clock in most weather conditions and while cargo operations are underway.

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During the clearing process, residues are removed and collected by an on-board filter and deposited into dedicated drums onshore for locally approved environmental disposal. The filter also decreases the risk of cross-pollination of waters with alien species.

HullWiper managing director Simon Doran said: “Our ROV is a good fit to support the initiatives of Panama Canal Port Authorities to provide a green solution for vessels in transit.

“Our system boosts vessel efficiency and fuel savings to reduce CO₂ emissions, whilst minimising the risk of damage to expensive anti-fouling coatings and the spread of marine biofouling.”

“Our ROV is a good fit to support the initiatives of Panama Canal Port Authorities to provide a green solution for vessels in transit.”

Talleres Industriales managing director Lino Arosemena said: “Our company has been serving the area for half a century, and now more than 1,200 vessels we attend to every year will have the opportunity to use this new service.

“HullWiper’s green credentials make it a good fit with other environmentally friendly technologies in which Talleres has invested in recent years, including sulphur cap solutions, ballast water system installation and pollution control division.”

HullWiper was established in Dubai, UAE, in late 2013. Currently, it operates from ports in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Singapore, Spain, Netherlands, Egypt, Australia and the UK.

The company noted that it plans to launch operations in Mauritius later this year.