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Pacific Basin Uses Graphene Coating on Props to Enhance Ship's Performance

Pacific Basin bulker
Pacific Basin is rolling out the graphene coating starting with 40 ships scheduled for dry dock maintenance in 2024 (Pacific Basin file photo)

Published Mar 27, 2024 6:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

In the search for new tools to help improve the performance of in-service vessels, Pacific Basin, a leading dry bulk shipping company, has decided to apply a sustainable graphene-based propeller coating starting with the rollout on 40 ships as it moves to full fleet adoption. The company reports it will be the largest adoption in the dry bulk sector building of efforts by others including Stolt Tankers and Eastern Pacific Shipping.

"Since 2007, we have been coating our vessels' propellers with silicone paint to proactively maintain a smooth propeller surface and avoid the frequent need for polishing to recover lost performance,” explains Sanjay Relan, the General Manager of Optimisation & Decarbonisation at Pacific Basin. “However, we have not been able to avoid edge damages to the silicone coating on the propellers, which requires the entire propeller coating to be stripped and reapplied at every docking.”

The company reports it has tested the coating manufactured by a Canadian company, GIT Coatings, observing positive results on one of its Supramax dry bulk vessels. They believe the new coating will maintain a damage-free, smooth propeller surface and improve efficiency over longer periods for the vessels.

 

The new graphene coating is expected to enhance performance and have better durability (Pacific Basin)

 

Pacific Basin highlights that a fuel efficiency study conducted by Stolt Tankers in 2022 proved that GIT’s XGIT-PROP has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to four percent. Relan says that in addition to improved CII ratings, they believe they will achieve efficiency gains to improve the vessels' RightShip GHG ratings. At a fleet-wide level, he says they anticipate significant reductions in both environmental impact and operational expenses.

GIT explains that XGIT-PROP is designed to withstand the rigorous conditions faced by propellers, overcoming the shortcomings of conventional, biocide-based soft foul release coatings that release silicone oils and often peel away from propeller blades. As a biocide-free hard foul release coating, their product combines a strong adhesive primer with a hard foul release topcoat to ensure the propeller's surface stays smooth over the drydocking cycle.

Pacific Basin reports it has started the rollout of XGIT-PROP across 40 vessels scheduled for dry dock maintenance in 2024. 

Faced with the need to meet environmental goals, reduce costs, and maintain efficiency, shipowners are looking for solutions that can help them meet the near-term goals of the industry. Graphene-based coatings such as the one offered by GIT may provide a tool as the industry works to enhance the performance of its in-service fleet working toward the IMO goal of a 30 percent reduction in GHG emission by 2030.