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Port of Dover partners with ECOsubsea for new hull cleaning project

21 September 2020

The Port of Dover has launched a new partnership with Norwegian cleantech company ECOsubsea to roll out a sustainable and environmentally friendly cleaning programme for cruise ship hulls.

The procedure uses robot like machines to remove hull debris from the ship and water, which in turn protects the biodiversity of marine life and wider environment. It will be available to visiting cruise vessels, with the first clean having taken place on the Disney Magic in Dover recently.

ECOsubsea at Port of Dover

Sonia Limbrick, Head of Cruise at the Port of Dover said:
“The Port of Dover is committed to pro-actively managing and delivering a sustainable port that will minimise environmental impact and promote good environmental practice.
We are always looking to adopt the very latest environmental initiatives and most innovative technology to deliver this, so I’m delighted to have ECOsubsea on board. I am sure this intense cleaning regime will have a positive impact on our Port and wider environment.”

The collaboration between the Port of Dover and ECOsubsea contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by:
• Ensuring 10% to 15% less fuel is used, saving CO2 to help combat the impact of climate change.
• Minimising vessel air pollution by 5 – 15%.
• Minimising the spread of alien invasive species between continents.
• The debris that is removed through the process is collected and processed ashore through a filtration process that both handles organic biofouling and alien invasive species, protecting life below water.

This is the latest development in the Port’s extensive environmental programme, which aims to reduce the pressure put on environmental resources in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It contributes to the aim of being a carbon neutral port that will continue to service future generations.

Tor M. Østervold, CEO of ECOsubsea added: “The Port of Dover has a clear goal to contribute to a cleaner ocean and a sustainable shipping industry. That is encouraging and precisely the ambitions we have in ECOsubsea. I look very much forward to collaborating to broaden the services offered to vessels entering the Port and simultaneously contribute to a healthier water environment.”

The ECOsubsea system consists of a sophisticated and reliable remotely operated vehicle that crawls along the ship hull. Its unique cleaning system ensures the removal of hull fouling without damaging the hull coating. The system removes over 97% of all the fouling detritus, which is then safely pumped ashore with the waste then taken away to be used for energy production.

A clean hull is the most efficient and allows the vessel to operate at peak efficiency, with the least amount of fuel consumed and lower emissions.