Hull Cleaning Robot Aids Oil Spill Response
After the recent oil spill disaster of the Bow Jubail in the Port of Rotterdam, Fleet Cleaner has stepped up to help the authorities with cleaning ship’s hulls which were fouled by the heavy fuel oil, in order to minimize the environmental impact.
Within record time, Fleet Cleaner has transformed its installation to an oil spill response vessel; by installing specialized heating equipment, the high pressure water cleaning robot was made ready for high pressure steam cleaning. Using the 1 MW installed power, a special oil skimmer as well as the necessary oil booms and PPM’s, the Fleet Cleaner team rose up to the challenge by round the clock cleaning of the affected vessels.
The cleaning was done together with main contractor Hebo, which is the party to clean and coordinate the cleaning of the entire Rotterdam port area. Due to the use of the cleaning robot, which is normally used to remove fouling such as algae and barnacles from ship’s hulls to save fuel costs, a completely safe operation was created. Fleet Cleaner has assisted with its installation to clean 12 oil-fouled vessels. Where standard oil spill cleaning is done above water, the Fleet Cleaner robot was also able to clean under water, aiding vessels which were fouled during the loading process. On the other hand, the installation was also used to remove oil at heights up to 10 meters above the waterline, making it a uniquely versatile cleaning machine.
This new experience for Fleet Cleaner has proven that the installation can also successfully be used to help in such environmental disasters. An optional package will be included in future Fleet Cleaner installations for oil spill situations in other ports.
Fleet Cleaner’s diverless hull cleaning service is available 24/7 in all Dutch ports.