International Marine and Offshore Coatings Conference

By Kerry Pianoforte | August 11, 2008

The National Paint and Coatings Association (NPCA) hosted its annual International Marine and Offshore Coatings Conference June 16-18 at the Sheraton Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach, VA. This year's conference attracted attendees involved in the marine and offshore coatings market and featured a variety of presentations dealing with all aspects of marine and offshore coatings, including regulatory and legal issues, as well as the latest technological advancements.

Derick Hayman, NPCA Marine Coatings committee chairman gave the opening remarks for the conference. "Our industry is facing a number of challenges," said Hayman. "We have fuel costs rocketing up, we have regulatory issues and our customers are having trouble finding places to dry dock their ships. Our speakers will touch on a number of these issues."

Hayman introduced Cynthia Brown, president of the American Shipbuilding Association, who began the three days of presentation with her keynote address, "The U.S. Shipbuilding Industry Today and Tomorrow: The View from Washington DC."

Brown began her presentation with the current status of the U.S. Naval fleet and where it is going in the future. "In 2001 the U.S. Navy numbered 341 battle force ships," said Brown. "Today it numbers 220. The Navel shipbuilding budget for this year is $12.4 billion. Since 2001, the Department of Defense top line budget has increased 20.8%. The shipbuilding budget has increased 12.2% since 2001. Even though we have great plans, the budgets are not keeping pace with these conservative plans. We as an industry are urging the appropriators to support the construction of seven ships.

"The year is not going to be a plus year for shipbuilding," Brown continued. "As an industry we support the Navy's shipbuilding budget and would like to see the government adding money to the budget, not just reshuffling money."

Brown stressed the need for the U.S. to keep pace with other powerful nations in terms of naval shipbuilding. "By 2015 China's Navy will outnumber the U.S. Navy," said Brown. "Russia has reemerged as a naval power. It will be the second largest naval power in the next decade. We are working on a number of things on a legislative front."

Other key issues that the American Shipbuilding Association are dealing with are U.S. dependence on foreign-built ships, working with government to limit the time of foreign-built ship leases and new building opportunities for commercial ships.

How can we turn the tide on naval ship building and commercial ship building," said Brown. "During an election year, it is important that both candidates recognize the need for shipbuilding. We are reaching out to members of Congress to ask the Democrat and Republican candidates to embrace this platform. The next president elected needs to recognize the importance of strengthening our sea service and supporting the industrial base."

Mark Ingle, senior materials engineer, Naval Sea Systems Command, Engineering Directorate presented "Naval Sea Systems Command Antifouling Program." Ingle summarized the primary goals of the NAVSEA advanced antifouling coatings program. "One of the prime goals is lowering operating costs," said Ingle. One of the ways to achieve this goal is through the Navy's advanced antifouling coatings program. He went on to outline the universal requirements for coating Naval ships and how paint manufacturers can conform to these requirements for corrosion control.

"Hull Performance and its Relationship to Fuel Consumption and CO2 Index of Marine Vessels," was presented by Daniel Kane of Propulsiondynamics. Kane spoke about how shipowners can save on fuel by coatings selection. "CASPER (Computerized Analysis of Ship Performance) software can be used to analyze data."

Vessel performance data recorded at periodic intervals while sailing is forwarded to its offices for special naval architectural analysis, resulting in precise calculations of speed, fuel consumption and resistance. This provides owners and shop operators a way to establish economically-optimum intervals for hull and / or propeller cleanings for each vessel based on evidence from ocean going service. The results of this provide accurate metrics for comparing true fuel costs of combined hull treatment and coating systems.

"All this data comes from instruments on the ship and provides an empirical study on vessel performance data," Kane said. Kane offered a comparison of before and after hull cleaning and the cost saving associated with it. "We are looking at ways to optimize fuel using hull cleaning. Added resistance is one of several technologies being utilized for emission reduction."

"Innovative Laser Cleaning Technology for Ship Surface Treatment, Cleaning and Paint Removal Applications," presented by Tim Niemeier, Adapt Laser Systems, provided information on the latest laser ablation process. According to Niemeier, there are a wide range of systems available. In the past there were a number of problems associated with them. "There are now portable high powered units available. Today's lasers provide versatile fiber optic beam delivery. Laser surface preparation is an alternative tool for a number of applications including solvent cleaning, ablative blast and hand sanding. Marine applications for this laser technology include corrosion control at or near sensitive instruments or control, spot repairs and touch ups and flash rust removal.

"Laser surface preparation systems are a new tool for today's ship preservation challenges," he concluded.

One of the topics on everyone's mind was upcoming International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations. "Update on IMO Performance Standards for Protective Coatings (PSPC)," presented by Jim Sell, NPCA counsel/secretary to IPPIC, PSPC work group provided an overview of upcoming regulations.

"International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC) Second Global Marine Coatings Forum Report Held in Singapore," presented by John Hopewell, IPPIC Secretariat and manager of environmental affairs at NPCA provided an overview of the forum and the role IPPIC will play in future IMO issues.

"It was a highly successful event," said Hopewell. "The role of IPPIC is that it serves as a forum for open dialog and exchange between participating organizations on issues of common interest. We now have a seat at the IMO. Our primary focus at the Global Marine Coatings Forum is how IPPIC can most effectively represent the industry at the IMO."

Being able to participate in the IMO gives IPPIC a number of advantages. "We now have the right to receive provision agendas of meetings and the right to prepare written statements," said Hopewell. "IPPIC will now be able to have an impact on IMO by being able to brief members before and after key IMO meetings of interest and represent the views of members of IPPC and make interventions when necessary.

Hopewell went on to describe what future issues the IMO will be addressing. "Currently key issues of IPPIC and the future of IMO are invasive species and antifouling coatings performance standards. Future issues include VOCs, greenhouse gases and legal liability issues."

"Developing a Cost Effective Coating Approach for Royal Navy New Warship Build Program," presented by Raouf Kattan of Safinah Consultants. Kattan talked about the Performance Standard for Protective Coatings (PSPC) and its goals. "One of the aims of the PSPC is to provide a 15 year life for ballast and tank coatings over which it is defined as being in 'good' condition," Kattan said. "Good condition is defined by regulations and consists of minor rust spotting. It is expected that the first newbuilding classified under the new rules will being building in the second half of 2008. The paint specification is at the hear of the PSPC and covers primary and secondary surface preparation standards, steel profile range, soluble salt limits and thickness and number of coats."

Other presentations included "The Marine Perspective An Update from the National Marine Manufacturers Association and "Liabilities Involving Marine Coatings Comprehensive Overview of the Legal Landscape and Future Trends Product Liability, Contractual, Regulatory and Insurance Issues" presented by Jeffrey Marguiles, partner, Fulbright and Jaworski.

Expert panel discussions

This year there were two panel discussion. Mark Ingle moderated "Biocide Antifouling Coatings: Current Issues and the Foreseeable Future Panel Discussion." The panel consisted of representatives from Chugoku Marine Paints, Jotun, Hempel, PPG, Rohm and Haas, Arch Chemical, International Paint, American Chemet, Carboline and Janssen PMP.

Robert Martin, global business director at Arch Chemical spoke about the profound effects of regulations such as BPD, REACH and EPA. "We are going to need to improve self-polishing systems, tougher non-stick coatings, lower service life of the coatings controlled delivery of biocides. We have to learn how to deliver our biocides more effectively," he said. "Biocides will continue to be a factor, but new biocides will be few. Instead hybrid non-stick antifouling biocide systems will be developed."

"Comprehensive Overview of Marine Coatings Global Environmental and Safety Issues," featured experts from the EPA and NAFTA, EU/IMO and Asia. Topics from this global panel of experts included clear air, VOCs and HAPs, biocide registration and limitations, hazardous waste, chemical use restrictions, IMO/EU TBT Ban Implementation, and worker health and safety.

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