Leading academic confirms Fluoropolymer

Leading academic confirms Fluoropolymer

Latest research from Professor James Corbett shows technology can considerably reduce shipping emissions and bunker fuel costs

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A report from one of the shipping industry’s leading research bodies, Professor James Corbett’s Energy and Environmental Research Associates, has proven that the eco-efficiency benefits of Fluoropolymer Foul Release Technology when applied to tanker, bulk cargo and other vessel types can reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) and other emissions by an average of 9%. The report, which was today welcomed by the United Kingdom’s leading environmentalist Jonathon Porritt and Julian Brazier TD MP, chairman of the All Party Maritime and Ports Group underlines the savings achieved using Fluoropolymer non stick technology that has excellent resistant to marine fouling.

Over 400 vessels in the commercial fleet currently use Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology for marine applications, patented by International Paint, making it one of the most widely used eco-efficiency technologies in the shipping market

The report, on products manufactured by International Paint, the world’s largest marine coatings supplier and part of AkzoNobel, analysed the latest fuel consumption data of three vessel types when coated with Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology; Prem Divya, a single engine 21,126 horsepower (HP) tanker, Ikuna, a twin engine 3,400 HP bulker and five identical post panamax container vessels, three of which were coated with TBT free polishing antifoulings and two with Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology.

The results showed that fuel consumption (and therefore the vessel’s emissions) was reduced by 10% on the Prem Divya, 22% On the Ikuna and by 5% in the container vessels (based on all five ships carrying a comparable load). The report states that if similar fuel efficiency results were realised by all tanker and bulk cargo vessels within the commercial fleet that: “annual fuel oil consumption could be reduced by roughly 16 million metric tons (MMT) per year, fuel expenditures could be reduced by $4.4 to $8.8 billion per year, and nearly 49 million MMT of CO2 emissions could be avoided annually’1.

Significantly, the report showed that reductions in CO2 are achieved at a negative cost, whereby the avoided emissions are coupled with economic benefits to the ship owner. For example, the Prem Divya delivered a total annual fuel cost saving of $251,000 based on a 2009 average bunker price ($387 per tonne). While Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology would cost $645,000 more over a nine year period than a biocidal alternative, if this figure is deducted from 2009 bunker costs and projected over the same time period, the owners of `Prem Divya would save $1.614 million2 . If current (February 2011) bunker prices of $640 / tonne were used for the calculation, the annual savings would be $415,000 and the projected net savings over 9 years would be $3.09 million.

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future and the Sustainable Shipping Initiative:

“This independent report shows how an existing technology enables ship owners to make significant cuts in their carbon footprint right now. There are many promising innovations and technological developments which can hasten the pace to a sustainable shipping industry, and companies should be paying more attention to their benefits.”

Julian Brazier TD MP, chairman, All Party Maritime and Ports Group, commented: 

“The shipping industry is under significant pressure to demonstrate environmental leadership and innovation. This latest research suggests that viable solutions do exist. It also demonstrates the depth of innovation within UK manufacturing and the commitment and investment that is being made in developing groundbreaking technologies that can help to meet one of the biggest challenges that we face today.”

Ian Walker, Market Director, International Paint, said: 

“It is the simple and proven technologies that will make the biggest impact in reducing GHG emissions from ships; solutions that are easy to implement, do not require huge operational or maintenance costs and can have a significant and quick return on investment. The evidence speaks for itself with over 400 vessels and more already using Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology.” 

Energy and GHG Emissions Savings Analysis of Fluoropolymer Foul Release Hull Coating, Energy & Environmental Research Associates, 10th December 2010.

2 $251,000 (fuel saving) x 9 - $645,000 (additional cost) = $1.614 net saving

Notes to the editors: 

1. Methodology

A range of methodologies were used to evaluate the impact of Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology on fuel oil consumption:

  • Tanker (Prem Divya): multiple regression model to an extensive dataset provided by International Paint on behalf of Mercator Lines Inc. Analysis applied to data associated with vessel at sea. The data covered 17 months prior to docking and 25 months after docking and application of Intersleek 900.

  • Bulker (Ikuna): EERA evaluated speed-adjusted (11.0 kts) fuel oil consumption for the vessel while at sea before and after the coating was applied. A two-tailed Student’s t-test was used to evaluate the statistical significance of any differences found between two conditions. The data covered 36 months prior to docking and 54 months after docking and application of Intersleek 900.

  • Container: Five vessels were compared (three with TBT free polishing antifoulings and two with Fluoropolymer Foul release technology). A two-tailed Student’s t-test was used to evaluate the statistical significance of any differences found between the vessels.

2. Fuel cost savings calculations

Fleet-wide fuel cost savings were based on the annual fuel consumption of the fleet by vessel type (i.e. tanker or bulker) from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and assuming a similarity in performance amongst vessels. Annual fuel consumption reductions were multiplied by a range of heavy fuel oil (HFO) prices between 2000 and 2009 at an average of $282 MT to estimate fleet wide cost savings. For individual vessels, fuel cost savings was estimated by multiplying the change in fuel consumption for each vessel by the average distance traveled by the vessel annually to estimate the total annual change in fuel consumption.

3. Emissions reduction

As per fuel cost savings, annual reduction in GHG emissions were calculated using estimated reductions in annual fuel consumption. Emissions factors in kilograms per metric ton (kg/MT) were obtained from IMO and other sources. To estimate changes in CO2 emissions, annual estimated changes in fuel consumption were multiplied by the CO2 emissions factor 3130kg/MT HFO.

4. Cost effectiveness analysis

Cost effectiveness was calculated based on the incremental costs of Fluoropolymer Foul Release technology over a ten-year time period. This includes application of the coating and repair costs against similar data for biocidal antifouling costs. EERA subtracted the biocidal costs from Fluoropolymer Foul Release costs to obtain incremental costs. Fuel savings for the ten-year period were subtracted from the incremental costs for the same time period to obtain net costs or benefits. Fuel savings and repair costs are discounted at 7% per year.

For further information, please contact: 

Nick Blythe Blue Communications 
T: + 44 (0) 7917 138 723 

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