The Austrian Chamber of Commerce has awarded the Energy Globe 2017 award to Hydrex in recognition of its propeller buffing technique.

Hydrex is a Belgian underwater repair and maintenance specialist.

Cleaning Without a Grinding Wheel

Hydrex CEO Boud van Rompay: ‘The conventional method of cleaning propellers involves polishing with a grinding wheel. This not only risks altering the blade profile, resulting in a loss of efficiency and weakening the propeller, it can provoke environmental damage by causing metal particles to drop into the sediment, a significant problem in ports where such operations are frequently undertaken.’

The Hydrex method employs much lighter, more frequent cleaning with a less-aggressive tool than a grinding wheel. The Austrian Chamber of Commerce awarded Hydrex the Energy Globe Award because the technique can result in fuel savings of 5% or more.

‘The optimum solution involves catching the propeller before it has a chance to build up a calcareous layer,’ said van Rompay. ‘No material is ground away, which is good for the propeller and the environment. For a ship that has a medium level of fuel consumption, the savings far outweigh the cost of the propeller cleaning itself. Because the propeller is being cleaned regularly, any loss of material and hence increased roughness is prevented entirely.’

Energy Globe Award

The Energy Globe Award was first launched in 1999. It showcases worldwide projects that conserve and protect natural resources or that employ renewable energy. The goal is to present successful sustainable projects to a broad audience, demonstrating that good, feasible solutions already exist to many environmental problems.

More than 2000 projects and initiatives from a 178 countries were submitted for the 2017 awards.