Rotterdam Port Fund has acquired a stake in Fleet Cleaner, a Delft based company that removes fouling from vessels’ hulls by using an in-house developed robot. The participation enables Fleet Cleaner to expand its services both in Rotterdam and internationally.

The ship’s hull can be cleaned during loading and unloading in port, preventing unnecessary delays. A “clean” hull reduces resistance when moving through water, benefitting fuel consumption and emissions.

For the Rotterdam Port Fund, Fleet Cleaner fits into its investment profile. ‘Fleet Cleaner helps to reduce fuel consumption in the maritime sector,’ says Frans van der Harst from the Rotterdam Port Fund. ‘The technology used has proven itself and is ready for further application on an international scale.’

Robot Technology

The robot developed by Fleet Cleaner attaches to the hull by means of magnets and removes fouling and other dirt below and above the water level with high-pressure water jets. The removed fouling is immediately vacuumed up and collected for further sustainable processing. In 2018, Fleet Cleaner received the Dutch Maritime Innovation Award.