At a time when the shipbuilding industry is undergoing a renaissance in Brazil, Sherwin-Williams is playing a strategic role in the fortunes of the shipbuilder Atlântico Sul, which this summer launched Brazil’s first ship in 14 years, João Candido, under the Brazilian government’s Program for Modernization and Expansion of the Fleet (PROMEF).
In a ceremony attended by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the 150,000 dwt tanker left drydock following the closure of its hull and was rolled out to sea to finish for December delivery. It is the first of a series of 22 ships that are already on the shipyard’s order book, along with the hull of the P-55 platform of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, according to Angelo Alberto Bellelis, Atlântico Sul president.
Sherwin-Williams’ Euronavy ES301 coating system is protecting the new ship’s ballast tanks, and the coating is a significant factor in the shipyard’s productivity as it fulfills its contract to build ten Suezmax (able to carry up to one million barrels of oil) tankers under PROMEF for Petrobras.
Atlântico Sul is the first of a number of new shipyards coming on line to meet Petrobras’ surging demand for ships. Keeping up with that demand requires innovative approaches to shortening building schedules, and Sherwin-Williams has been driving that innovation. Using the ES301 coating technology, Atlântico Sul has been able to double its productivity in terms of square meters of surface prepared. Construction of João Candido occurred while the shipyard itself was being completed.
Typically secondary surface preparation at the block stage involves abrasive blasting to prepare steel surfaces and weld seams prior to topcoating. Euronavy ES301 can accomplish the same task using ultra-high-pressure (UHP) water jetting, or hydroblasting, which saves shipbuilders time and money. Petrobras pioneered the concept of combining hydroblasting and coatings that are solvent-free and tolerant of humidity across the operations of Transpetro, its shipowner subsidiary. Now Transpetro considers ES301 hydroblasting the new standard for coating in the shipping industry.
A further advantage is the chemistry of the Euronavy pre-construction primer, which is zinc-free. The primer is applied before undertaking block construction as a precaution against flash rust on the steel following its initial pass through an automated abrasive blasting system. Typical primers contain zinc dust; zinc primers are more expensive than epoxy primers because zinc is a commodity so its price fluctuates, making it difficult for shipyards to project costs. Euronavy PE 31 PCP has a lower cost projection and was the first non-zinc product to be IMO PSPC-type approved.