The efficiency – or inefficiency – of a vessel’s hull paint can greatly affect fuel consumption by up to five percent. While Maersk Line’s own vessels are up to date with the latest paint technology, the charter fleet – which accounts for more than half of the total fleet – was initially slow to get on board.
As such, Maersk Line’s ‘Paint Project’ initiative was launched in 2009 to demonstrate to charter owners how a quality paint system can improve the vessel performance resulting in savings for both parties.
The knowledge to lead Alberto Balzan, Assistant General Manager Energy Efficiency within Maersk Line Vessel Management, talks about sharing simple practices. “By applying our knowledge from our own fleet on paint performance, we are leading charter owners and paint suppliers to look into the future and improve the way we all do business,” he explains.
The painting is physically carried out during vessels’ dry-dock. Maersk Maritime Technology has developed a database of paint systems to monitor the difference in performance between paint types and suppliers. In the past, charter owners have chosen standard paints which typically were cheaper but also less efficient.
“We had to highlight to the charter owners the inefficiencies of using the traditional paint systems compared to the products we prefer, in order to ensure buy-in,” Jørn Kahle, General Manager Maersk Maritime Technology, explains.
Four major charter owners are already on board participating as partners with Maersk Line in this project, which is expected to deliver vast fuel savings and cut down CO emissions by 450,000 tons in the next five years.
For every percentage of speed reduction caused by paint inefficiency, fuel consumption increases by 2.5-3%.