A new white paper released by Swedish technology company I-Tech highlights the increasing problems for ship operators caused by biofouling occurring during growing idling periods, showing how ship idling has increased over the last many years, beginning with the great financial crisis in 2008, the oil price crash of 2015, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic.
For instance, according to the report, at the peak of idling last year, almost half of all container vessels had long idling periods of more than 30 days, exposing the vessels' hulls to an extreme risk of hard fouling.
To make matters worse, these fouling windows could intensify as ports become more congested. Furthermore, with global ocean temperatures rising, biofouling hotspots could become more widespread, meaning that more ships could find themselves in one of the regions and facing a new, higher risk of barnacle fouling colonization.
The study further showed over 40% of vessels surveyed in 2019 had a barnacle fouling coverage on the hull of over 10%. This level of biofouling, before taking into account idling in 2020, could be responsible for at least 110 million tonnes of excess carbon emissions annually.
There is no one fixed solution. There are a number of measures which when taken can reduce biofouling in niche areas and associated risks. In this issue, besides all our regular features and columns, we analyze some of the new innovations that are being introduced by some of the leading coating companies catering to the marine industry.
As we enter the New Year 2022, let us remember it's the year of the World Cup, and be optimistic that we will be free from the Pandemic and be able to once again carry on with our lives without any loss of life and property by any kind of other calamities. Happy reading and wishing all our readers, advertisers and well-wishers a great New Year ahead!