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COSCO Shipping has indicated it will coat its entire fleet of VLCCs with Nippon Paint Marine’s new antifouling system FASTAR® 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 the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (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.
Mr 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, said: "We were 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% is attractive and seen as a viable way towards meeting EEXI requirements. We also anticipate reduced paint volumes and quick drying time will 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 will be hugely beneficial to repair yards. "As there is not enough 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.”
He furthered: "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 the 135,000 litres of the coating having been applied to hulls totalling 4.2Mdwt.
FASTAR is a self-polishing antifouling paint that incorporates a unique 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 4th 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.