MSC Takes on "Always Clean" Antifouling Robot to Improve Fuel Efficiency

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday September 8, 2020

Container liner MSC has signed the first commercial contract to take on marine technology company Jotun Group's new 'proactive' robotic hull-cleaning system.

MSC will install the Jotun HullSkater and the SeaQuantum Skate antifouling system on board its 14,000 TEU ship the MSC Eva later this year, Jotun Group said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

"The solution will then proactively work to ensure an "always clean" vessel hull, with no biofouling, optimal efficiency, reduced fuel costs and significantly lower CO2 emissions," the company said.

The HullSkater system is the first robotic technology designed for 'proactive cleaning', Jotun said. Jotun operators control the HullSkater remotely, scheduling cleaning and inspections with a using big data and a proprietary algorithm.

The system will be installed at a shipyard in China at the same time as the vessel undergoes class renewal and has a scrubber fitted, the company said.

While most of the public attention around shipping's decarbonisation agenda has focused on alternative fuels that the industry might switch to, in the background the industry has also been working on finding ways to reduce emissions through improved fuel efficiency. Hull cleaning and antifouling measures have long been known to have a significant impact on a vessel's fuel consumption.