What is Selektope®?

Selektope® is a bio-repellent ingredient for marine coatings that offers superior hard fouling prevention performance for ships. With a first of its kind mode of action in marine coatings, Selektope® protects ship hulls from barnacle settlement.

As a bio-repellent ingredient for marine coatings, Selektope® offers superior hard fouling prevention performance for ships. Offering a first of its kind mode of action in marine coatings, Selektope® protects ship hulls from barnacle settlement. This technology offers a new approach to fouling prevention that deliver state-of-the-art anti-barnacle performance while leaving room for marine coatings manufacturer innovation for existing and future industry demands. Selektope®, is an organic, non-metal compound that delivers unrivalled efficacy at minute concentrations of 0.1% w/w in a marine coating.

Selektope® conforms with global regulatory schemes and Selektope®-containing products adhere to IMO antifouling guidelines. The biocide has received approvals in all leading markets for new builds and dry-docking including China, South Korea and Japan. In the EU, Selektope® has been approved for all relevant use-types l. For Africa, South America and the rest of Asia, no registration is needed for the use of Selektope®.

The biofouling issue

The variety among biofouling organisms is highly diverse and extends far beyond attachment of barnacles and seaweeds. According to some estimates, over 1,700 species comprising over 4,000 organisms are responsible for biofouling which occurs in all oceans around the globe.

Barnacles are a global species that pose great threat to vessel operations and maintenance due to their rapid accumulation on the wetted surface of ships.

Present in all marine and brackish waters, these crustaceans, once established, attract other barnacles to form colonies. When attached to a ship’s hull, their shells cause microturbulence, significantly increasing drag which is directly related to increased fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Once attached to a ship’s hull, barnacles must be mechanically removed – creating a headache and cost for the ship operator.

Growing regulatory pressure

Fouled hulls act as vehicles of transportation for invasive aquatic species. There is a growing regulatory movement against the transportation of invasive species via bio-fouled ships and the issue is being addressed on a regional-basis and through IMO. The result of increased regulatory attention will be more hull inspections prior to port calls and increasing vessel detentions. Vessels are already being refused entry from certain ports due to their heavily fouled hulls.

Biofouling is increasing

Although marine biofouling occurs in all oceans, the fouling risk is different in different areas. In general, tropical or sub-tropical waters are considered high risk areas with rapid growth and settlement of organisms. With average global water temperatures increasing, high risk fouling is expanding, covering larger areas. Since the 1990s, trade patterns have shifted and a dominating portion of seaborne trade is frequenting ports located in warmer waters.

The impact of biofouling

The existing fleet is estimated to consume 350 million tonnes of fuel per year, emitting 1.1 billion tons of CO2 and over 10 million tons of SO2. If leaving hulls unprotected, the fuel consumption would increase by more than 40% on average on the world fleet due to the sharp increase in surface roughness caused by marine fouling. Yet, it is commonly believed that there is a potential to improve another 10% on average driving development of new, more efficient and environmentally sound coatings. If successful, approximately 30BIL USD may be taken out from the operating costs of the world fleet, not to mention the emissions to air and the reduced risk of carrying invasive aquatic species hidden on a fouled hull.

Superior static performance needed

The issue of biofouling is becoming an increasingly dominant issue for some Asian shipyards, with newly launched vessels laying idle in warming waters, suffering the effects of intense fouling during the ship outfitting process. This accumulation of biofouling on the hull can impact both the newly applied coating and the ship performance of a newbuild ship leaving the yard. Shipyards are pushing for antifouling solutions that ensure static performance during outfitting.

Ship owners need marine coating solutions that deliver fouling prevention for vessels with differing activity levels, whether in constant active service, idle, or fluctuating between the two. Coatings that can cope with conditions in the biofouling “red zones” in which their ships operate, where water temperatures can be high and fouling can be problematic if a ship is at anchorage for three to four weeks, for example, need to be selected.

Marine coatings that contain Selektope®, a technology that ensures both superior static and in-service performance, are the only answer.

Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.