Bermudian-based Team Tankers International has signed an agreement with Selektope to use its anti-barnacle active agent on four of its additional ships.

The development follows a 40-month trial of an antifouling coating containing the technology on an MR tanker in Team Tankers International’s fleet.

During the testing of the solution, the vertical sides of the 46,067DWT chemical and products carrier Team Calypso were coated with Chugoku Marine Paints’ SEAFLO NEO CF-Premium antifouling coating.

The solution featured Selektope during its five-year drydocking at the Sembcorp shipyard, Singapore, in 2015.

Over the trial period, the MR tanker has been in active operation across a range of trade routes, often sailing in global biofouling hotspots with up to 32°C water temperatures where the risk of biofouling is very high.

It was found that barnacles could not succeed to anchor themselves to the tanker’s hull during the trial due to the protection from Selektope.

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Selektope stimulates the barnacle larvae’s octopamine receptor and puts them in swimming mode to prevent an attachment to the hull with a non-fatal effect.

“This tanker owner is reaping the fuel-saving benefits associated with a Selektope-powered antifouling coating.”

A hull inspection carried out during month 35 in the tanker’s in-water survey schedule established that Team Calypso’s hull was virtually barnacle-free with no soft fouling coverage.

Independent third-party data analysis also confirmed that the added resistance on Team Calypso’s hull and propeller due to fouling is low at 16%, compared to up to 30% expected for a reference ship of similar age, size and trading patterns.

Biotechnology company I-Tech owns all IP and regulatory rights to the antifouling agent Selektope.

I-Tech AB CEO Philip Chaabane said: “This tanker owner is reaping the fuel-saving benefits associated with a Selektope-powered antifouling coating.

“The independent data analysis coupled with the underwater hull inspection proves that Selektope delivers strong protection from hard fouling, whatever the vessel’s activity or trading pattern.”