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teCHnICAL InnoVAtIon


Green innovation T


Ecospec launches a new series of products


he importance of technological advancement will remain crucial to the shipping industry as pressure mounts on owners to reduce emissions and


promote carbon-free operations.Abatement technology such as scrubbers, anti-fouling paints, structural design of a ship, ship sail and even solar panels are some of the technological innovation that has been introduced into the market. Among the innovations, a little-known


Singapore homegrown technology firm is aiming to go big by betting on abatement system and corrosion control technologies. Privately-run Ecospec GlobalTechnology is


starting to see greater receptiveness for its 2009- launched CSNOx scrubber technology, and it is preparing to introduce a few more innovations such as anti-corrosion device, chemical-free anti- fouling paint, and a subset system of CSNOx. CSNOx, Ecospec's first innovation for the


maritime industry, is capable of reducing carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emitted by ships in one single process.The abatement technology works by treating seawater/freshwater using ultra-low frequency waves electrolysis treatment. “After two years,whether they be competitors


or users, people have checked and realised that it is possible to happen,” says Chew Hwee Hong, founder and managing director of Ecospec.“We have engaged in a lot of talks, especially with system integrators. If everything goes smoothly, we expect to install five to 10 (CSNOx) projects this year,”Chew tells Seatrade. In order to meet requirements from owners


wanting only the minimum so as to save cost yet cut back on harmful emissions, Ecospec introduced CSOX, a subset of CSNOx that removes only sulphur dioxide along with some carbon dioxide. A full CSNOx system could cost owners a


couple of millions to tens of millions,while the CSOX offers a cheaper alternative that still allows owners to meet global regulations on sulphur emission levels. “CSOX has the option for a full upgrade to


CSNOx.The technical operating principle for both technologies are similar,”Chew says.“When shipping is not in a time of luxury,CSOX would be able to meet the needs of a majority of owners.” Ecospec is also planning to launch ElMag, an anti- corrosion technology that controls corrosion on


jetties, piers and other structures.The technology uses a series of emitters and receivers to harness ultra-low frequency (ULF) waves that protect structures immersed or exposed to water. The emitter is placed in the water or on the


structure while the receiver is secured to the structure.The ULF waves travel through the water to excite the structure or by the emitter on the structure.This controls corrosion and provides a parallel function of inhibiting bio-fouling. Over time, the use of ElMag will promote a


magnetite and calcareous layer, offering additional protection. ElMag does not require the use of chemicals, as with all other Ecospec products, the company claimed. ElMag also has low power consumption, is practically maintenance free, and does not require the replacement of parts as compared to the conventional cathode protection. Another Ecospec innovation, anti-fouling


technology BioMag, promises to prevent the growth of barnacles on a ship's hull without the use of chemicals. BioMag works by installing an emitter that will


emanate low frequency wave that runs along the surface of hull structures, electrifying the hulls and 'stunning' the barnacle larvaes so that they are unable to attach onto the steel structures. Current anti-fouling method is by painting the


hull with toxic copper, organotin compounds or other special chemicals that intoxicate or kill micro-organisms. Such toxic paint, however, tends to release


harmful chemicals into the waters.The International Maritime Organization (IMO) imposed a ban on the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints from 17 September 2008. A one-year BioMag trial on an aframax tanker


showed positive results of a clean and free hull after the ship was in service for six months, according to Ecospec.The cost of a BioMag system can be a few million US dollars or more, depending on the complexity and size of the installation. Ecospec has been on the prowl for strategic


alliances for the various technologies it has developed. It had in October 2010 agreed to collaborate withWartsila, provider of power solutions for the marine and energy markets, to integrate the CSNOx system into various engine applications. The company has even floated the idea of


launching an initial public offering, possibly in the next couple of years.


Seatrade Singapore Report 2011 37


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