After completing trials, hull cleaning company Fleet Cleaner now has permission to clean ships in the Belgian ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ghent. The company has designed a hull cleaning robot that removes biofouling during (un)loading in port.

The robot uses high pressure waterjets to remove biofouling from the ship’s hull. This results in significant fuel savings for shipping companies. The robot captures the removed fouling and pumps it to a containerised wastewater treatment system on board the support vessel. The entire operation is conducted without divers, and the robot is controlled from the support vessel.

Minimal Environmental Impact

The test trials were executed in Ghent and Antwerp, where multiple samples have been taken of the water around the robot, the collected wastewater and the filtered water that was released back in port. These were analysed by an independent laboratory, and results have confirmed the high efficiency of the waste capturing system and the wastewater treatment system, as well as the minimal impact to the environment of the entire cleaning operation. The wastewater is filtered down to 1 micron and then released back into port. The captured waste is collected in big bags and disposed off onshore by a certified waste processor.

With this permission from the authorities, Fleet Cleaner now offer its services 24/7 in the entire Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Gent (ARAG) region.