Robotic hull cleaning now in Belgium

Fleet Cleaner Fleet Cleaner's hull cleaning robot uses high pressure waterjets to remove biofouling from the ship’s hull during loading and unloading in port. Image: Fleet Cleaner

A hull cleaning company is now offering its robotic services in Belgian ports for the first time.

Fleet Cleaner has successfully completed trials in Belgian ports, and now has permission to clean ships in the Port of Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ghent.

Cleaning operations involve a unmanned “hull cleaning robot which uses high pressure waterjets to remove biofouling from the ship’s hull during loading and unloading in port, resulting in significant fuel savings for shipping companies,” said Fleet Cleaner.

The robot captures the removed fouling and pumps it to a containerised wastewater treatment system on board the support vessel. The full operation is conducted without divers, and the robot is controlled from the support vessel.

Test trials

The test trials were executed in Ghent and Antwerp, where multiple samples have been taken of the water around the robot, the collected wastewater and the filtered water which was released back in port.

“These were analysed by an independent laboratory, and results have confirmed the high efficiency of the waste capturing system and the wastewater treatment system, as well as the minimal impact to the environment of the entire cleaning operation,” said Fleet Cleaner.

The wastewater is filtered down to 1 micron and then released back into port. The captured waste is collected in big bags and disposed of onshore by a certified waste processor.

With this permission from the authorities, Fleet Cleaner now offer its services 24/7 in the entire ARAG region.

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