Hempel Joins Biofouling Prevention Partnership


Global coatings company Hempel recently joined a public-private partnership to help prevent biofouling on ships’ hulls and support shipping emissions reduction.

“At Hempel, we are very pleased to be joining the Global Industry Alliance (GIA) for Marine Biosafety. We believe that strong collaboration between all stakeholders—governments, NGOs and the maritime industry—is needed to identify challenges and accelerate solutions to decarbonize the maritime industry and protect marine environments,” said Alexander Enström, Executive Vice President and Head of Marine.

“As a provider of hull performance solutions that can help prevent the build-up of invasive species on hulls as well as reduce the fuel usage and carbon emissions of ships, we look forward to taking part in this collaboration.”

The International Maritime Organization’s Global Industry Alliance for Marine Biosafety is a cross-sectoral platform for collaboration under the IMO’s GloFouling Partnerships project.

The GIA currently comprises 13 private companies that work with governments, the IMO and other non-governmental organizations to increase awareness of the environmental implications and risks associated with biofouling on ships hulls, identify common issues and foster solutions for mitigation.

Additionally, the alliance informs policy developments and shares technical expertise within NGOs.

Hempel reports that biofouling on ship hulls can facilitate the unintentional spread of invasive aquatic species, making it one of the five largest threats to marine biodiversity. Build-up can also create drag and significantly reduce efficiency levels as more fuel is required to propel the vessel through the water.

Set up in June 2020, the project is part of the wider efforts undertaken by IMO, in collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), to protect marine ecosystems from the negative effects of invasive species.

Members of the GIA include marine coatings companies, in-water cleaning service providers and marine growth preventive systems, shipping companies and technical organizations. The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers also has observer status within the group.

The program is also reportedly in line with the IMO strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050. GHG emissions are reduced by limiting biofouling, allowing for operational efficiencies can be achieved.

Previous Initiative

In October 2019, Hempel announced that it joined the Getting to Zero Coalition, a strategy adopted by the IMO to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Developed in 2018, the plan involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with shipping by at least 50% by 2050, in comparison with 2008 levels.

In becoming a stakeholder in a partnership made up of the Global Maritime Forum, the Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum, Hempel officially committed to aiding in the development of commercially viable zero-emission vessels with operations along deep-sea trade routes by 2030.

According to Hempel, its Hempaguard MaX reduces vessel drag and also helps reduce fuel consumption as well as other associated emissions. The coatings technology is based from Hempaguard X7—a hull coating that has been proven to reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions.

Since 2013, Hempaguard X7 had been applied at the time to 1,500 vessels, which has collectively contributed to $500 million in reduced fuel costs and the reduction of over 10 million tons of CO2 emissions.

To reach its 2030 goal, the Getting to Zero Coalition also planned to work with individuals from maritime, energy and other related industries, along with academics and policy makers. The collection of efforts intends to identify the proper technology, investments, infrastructure and actions needed to get ZEVs in full operation.

The IMO plans to pursue eliminating emissions from shipping in order to fully decarbonize the industry.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Business management; Business matters; Business operations; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Emissions; Environmental Control; Environmental Controls; Environmental Protection; Greenhouse gas; Hempel; International Maritime Organization; Latin America; Marine; Marine Coatings; North America; Partnerships; Program/Project Management; Public-private partnerships (P3); Ships and vessels; Z-Continents

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.