Jan 20, 2022 | Marine coatings & hull protection news

Cosco Shipping has indicated it will coat its entire fleet of VLCCs with Nippon Paint Marine’s new Fastar antifouling system once initial applications have been evaluated.

The hulls of the passenger ferry Cosco Star and the 56,000dwt bulk carrier Xin Liu Lin Hai will each be coated with the game-changing antifouling at drydockings scheduled later this year. Cosco Star will dock at the Cosco Shanghai Dockyard in February for a Fastar XI application, with the bulker currently scheduled to take the Fastar I version in May, at the Cosco Guangzhou Dockyard.

The shipowner selected the novel nano resin containing paint – introduced to the market early last year – to help vessels meet EEXI requirements. The amendment to MARPOL Annex VI, which requires all vessels above 400gt to measure their energy efficiency, enters into force in January 2023.

Jun Ye, M & R Sales Director, Nippon Paint Marine (China), said: “Cosco Shipping has a long history of applying Nippon Paint Marine antifouling to the hulls of its vessels as a way of improving propulsion efficiency and reducing emissions. Once the shipowner has verified the precise, predictable performance of Fastar on these two vessels, more vessels are expected to take advantage of this revolutionary coating system.”

Cosco Shipping is said to have been keen to evaluate and assess the feasibility of Nippon Paint’s next generation antifouling for possible VLCC application. The coating’s potential to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by up to 8% was seen as attractive and a viable way towards meeting EEXI requirements, while the reduced paint volumes and quick drying time should result in cost savings.

Jun Ye said: “With the current high freight rates, shipowners want to keep their vessels trading for as long as possible. Fastar antifouling not only provides next level performance but improves drydock efficiency, reducing significantly the time required in drydock for paint work.

Fastar is considered beneficial for repair yards, as without the capacity to meet current demand, yards are limiting the number of days for each drydocking as a way of increasing the number of projects they can take on.

Jun Ye continued: “Drydock locations are no longer set in stone due to the delays at some Chinese yards, especially in Zhoushan and Ningbo. Rather than wait for a slot shipowner are moving their ships elsewhere. It’s a real headache for coatings suppliers.”

According to Nippon Paint Marine, despite some market retraction last year, orders for the new coating increased steadily with 135,000l of the coating applied to hulls totalling 4.2 million dwt.

Fastar is a self-polishing antifouling paint that incorporates a nano-domain resin structure designed to minimise the effect that seawater temperatures, vessel speeds and other external factors have on coating performance. Nippon Paint Marine’s fourth generation antifouling system is available in two main versions – Fastar I and Fastar XI – of which the latter incorporates the company’s patented hydrogel technology.

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