Keeping it clean in Oman
Gulf Agency Company (GAC) has been granted permission to seek a license to operate its cleaning systems at Sohar Port and Freezone, which the port’s chief executive says could “revolutionise” the industry.
GAC’s EnvironHull system is an unmanned, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly remotely operated vehicle (ROVs) that uses the latest in underwater cleaning technology to keep ships free from marine fouling and is said to allow owners to optimise fuel consumption and the overall performance of a vessel. In doing so, GAC says shipowners eliminate damage caused by traditional cleaning, remove risks faced by human divers and stop waste being discharged in to 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,” said Andre Toet, chief executive, Sohar Port and Freezone.
“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,” he added.
Permission for the cleaning service to seek a license was effectively granted by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) earlier last week, and is part of a broad environmental initiative at Sohar port.
Speaking about the decision, Simon Doran, managing director, GAC EnvironHull, added: “SOHAR is a natural choice for the next base of HullWiper due to its strategic location just outside the Gulf and close proximity to international trade routes. As such, it is a port of call for many ships carrying general cargo, liquid shipments, and containers – all of which benefit from the increased efficiency and the cost-savings that come with a foul-free hull.”
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