Piraeus-based gas carrier vessel operator Gaslog Ltd. has opted to apply Nippon Paint Marine’s A-LF Sea hull coating as part of its current drydocking programme.
The shipowner strives to limit the impact of its operations on the marine environment and pursue optimal operational efficiency across its fleet. With this in mind, anything proven to reduce fuel consumption has a direct impact on environmental and operational costs. A-LF Sea minimises significantly biofouling and hull resistance and, consequently, results in reduced fuel consumption and engine emissions.
Gaslog operates a fleet of 27 modern liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier ships of between 145,000 m3 and 180,000 m3 capacity, and has a further seven ships on order, two 174,000m3 and five 180,000 m3 capacity vessels.
“At Gaslog we are constantly seeking ways to reduce our environmental impact through innovative products and processes that span our entire operating cycle. Antifouling paints is no exemption and so we had our first trial with A-LF-Sea back in 2013 when it was applied on one of our TFDE ships. The excellent results of this trial gave us the confidence to expand the application of A-LF-Sea to our vessel’s being drydocked in 2020-2021,” said Kostas Karathanos, Gaslog’s innovation and technology manager.
He added: “Our experience so far indicates that A-LF-SEA is outperforming competition as the rate of power increase is notably less.”
Nippon Paint Marine Europe general manager Theodosis Dimopoulos said: “Nippon Paint is proud to have been chosen as a supplier to Gaslog Ltd, one of the world’s leading gas carrier operators. This demonstrates Nippon’s capabilities in coatings’ technology, technical service and logistics.”
A-LF Sea is simple to apply, using standard application techniques, can be applied over existing coatings or as a newbuild application. With a fresh layer of A-LF Sea applied at each drydocking, the fouling resistance and water trapping function can be maintained throughout the vessel’s service life.
Dimopoulos continued: “Reduction of CO2 emissions is a global concern. We, as a paint manufacturer, can contribute to a shipowners’ carbon footprint reduction programmes by reducing drag on the underwater hull surfaces.
“Following the sulphur cap regulations that kicked in on 1st January 2020, ships that are not fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems have been forced to use very low sulphur fuels, which carry a high cost premium. A-LF Sea can help those owners, by cutting the amount of high-cost bunker fuels required.”
As the world’s most advanced ultra-low friction coating system, A-LF Sea employs a patented copper silyl acrylate copolymer technology with a high volume of solids to provide excellent antifouling performance over long periods. The coating is stable in self-polishing and is effective in whatever marine environment the ship sails.
A-LF Sea has become the hull coating of choice among a large number of high-end shipping companies including containership operators, car carrier companies and cruise lines. The coating has been successfully applied to almost 3,000 ships worldwide.
In December 2019, Nippon Paint Marine Coatings received the 2019 Japan’s Environment Minister’s Award for Global Warming Prevention Activities in the Countermeasure Technology Advanced Introduction Category for its work on reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions through the use of low-friction bottom paint.
A-LF Sea was developed under a project undertaken by Nippon Paint with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in conjunction with classification society ClassNK and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).
It complies with IMO-AFS2001 as a tin-free anti-fouling system and is certified by the major classification societies.