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Monday, February 1, 2021 

According to Norwegian coatings manufacturer Jotun, shipowners face a simultaneous battle on two fronts: a growing pressure to comply with ever more stringent environmental regulations, and a need to control costs and enhance efficiency, in an increasingly competitive and unpredictable marketplace.

Confronted with such challenges, owners have an opportunity, Jotun says, to pick “the low hanging fruit” of advanced antifouling solutions, simplifying compliance while achieving significant bottom-line benefits. IMO is expected to redouble its environmental efforts and legislative focus over the coming years as it aims to fulfil an ambition of reducing shipping’s carbon footprint by 50% by 2050 (with full decarbonisation by 2100). MEPC 75 demonstrated that commitment, with the introduction of two new quantitative measures to reduce CO2 emissions per ton-mile of cargo transported: The Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) and Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).

EEXI sets a baseline reference and may require a vessel to retrofit energy saving devices, or impose an engine power limit, while CII will be used to track and rate the vessel’s energy efficiency in actual operation, on a yearly basis. Vessels with favourable ratings will unlock advantages in operational profitability, charter attractiveness and financing options.

“This is where developments in high quality antifoulings can make all the difference,” said Stein Kjølberg, Global Category Director, Hull Performance, Jotun. “Energy efficiency and carbon emissions are inextricably linked to fouling growth on ships’ hulls. Algae and barnacles add significant frictional resistance, and this results in speed loss. To compensate for that, and keep up with sailing schedules, vessels are forced to increase power. As a result, fuel consumption and carbon emissions also increase. That creates obvious financial ramifications, environmental impact, and difficulties in terms of regulatory compliance. So, in short, a dirty hull is bad news for everyone. Keeping clean is unquestionably the way forward.”

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