Marine Coatings Market

By Tim Wright | May 7, 2009

Growth in the marine coatings market can be attributed to a surge in new building in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as high demand for exported goods from the region.

Marine coatings systems are applied to ships and structures in both the sea and fresh water environments. They serve the dual purpose of protecting against deterioration and keeping ships looking good. The world merchant fleet is comprised mostly of bulk carriers and tankers, but also includes container ships, cargo ships and passenger/cruise ships among others. In terms of value, the marine coatings market was worth approximately $4 billion in 2007, or roughly four percent of the total global coatings market, on a volume of 840 million liters.

According to IPPIC's "Global Paint and Coatings Industry Market Analysis Report (2007-2012)," the growth of marine paints is projected to slow and level off over the next five yeaers and will be worth $4.7 billion in 2012 on a volume of 904 million liters.

The global marine coatings market is heavily consolidated, the IPPIC report said, with 80% of the market owned by five companies-AkzoNobel, through its International Paint business, Chugoku Marine Paints, Hempel's Marine Paints, Jotun and PPG.

Asia-Pacific dominates the global distribution of marine coatings for both new ship builds and maintenance and repair. China is fast becoming the world's largest shipbuilding nation and has set a goal of becoming number one in the industry by 2015. In 2007 the order books at Chinese shipyards surpassed those of Japan to be second only to South Korea. In terms of new orders, China was actually number one in 2007, totalling 98.5 million deadweight tons, or 42% of the global total, according to the Beijing government.

In terms of regional distribution of marine coatings, the IPPIC report said Asia-Pacific accounts for 56% of the market followed by Europe with 24%, North Ameria 8%, Latin America <1% and ROW markets 12%.

Coatings World discussed market trends and issues with experts at two leading marine paint manufacturers-Jotun and International Paint.

Coatings World: How did the marine coatings market perform in 2008? What are your expectations for 2009 and beyond and how is the global financial crisis impacting the marine coatings market?

Jim Brown, marketing development manager, International Paint:
Looking at 2008, currency headwinds and raw material price escalation were key factors in the first half of the year. A particular issue for us was the volatile price of copper and zinc-key raw materials used in antifoulings and anticorrosive primers. Despite this, 2008 was a good year with sales volume growth being achieved for the fourth year in a row.

For 2009, we're seeing continued volatility in raw material prices but exchange rate differentials can, if sustained, work in our favor. It is inevitable we will be affected by the global downturn and there is concern over visibility in the maintenance market and the newbuilding orderbook post 2010 but measures are in place to ensure we're able to maximize opportunities and take advantage of the upturn when it arrives.

Morten Eikenes, group category manager antifoulings, Jotun Coatings: The marine coatings market in 2008 performed in general very well. Even though 2008 ended in financial turmoil this did not affect the market for marine paints for maintenance before November/December. The number of new builds that are cancelled and the general reduction in new projects will eventually lead to less activity by the end 2009 and into 2010.

Our best understanding of the market for marine coatings is that a lot of vessel owners must focus on cash flow and their liquidity. As a result of this there will be a shift from premium products to low cost products and/or application of less paint (i.e. shorter DD intervals). On the other hand those that have their fleet on contracts may be more aware of the opportunities for savings in their bunker bill that lays in the upper premium antifouling products.

CW: How have rising raw material prices impacted the marine coatings market? Have you been able to pass along price increases to your customers?

With three vessels already coated and more specified for application this year, Wightlink Ltd, a UK-based ferry company have firmly adopted International Paint's foul release coating system, Intersleek 900 fluoropolymer foul release coating. They selected Intersleek 900 for the vessels FastCat Ryde (shown in the picture), Our Lady Pamela and FastCat Shanklin were respectively drydocked. The vertical sides of all three vessels were coated with Intersleek 900. The product has since provided cost benefits to the owner, including improved fuel consumption, reduced CO2 emissions and a reduced requirement for slipping.
Brown: Rising raw material prices have had a large impact on the marine coatings market in recent times. Large increases and inflationary pressures seen in the global economy during 2008 have increased the cost of coatings manufacture. Despite published falls in commodity prices experienced recently the market remains volatile and is showing year on year increases in key raw material prices. As a company we strive to minimize price increases to our customers by employing various techniques such as forward purchasing of key commodities and benchmarking activities. As many of our customers have pricing contracts in place we have absorbed much of these increases ourselves, but have been forced to implement increases across the market.

Eikenes: The last few years we experienced significant increases in raw material cost. The prices on zinc and copper had almost a threefold increase, which has been a challenge for the coating suppliers. We have not managed to increase the prices to fully compensate increased cost.

CW: How has recently enacted environmental legislation such as the IMO's antifouling treaty and the Biocides Product Directive in EU affected the global marine coatings market?

Brown: The coatings industry is heavily regulated and we're controlled in many ways. In Europe for example, REACH is a new regulation on chemicals and their safe use. It deals with the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals, which for us means we can only use registered raw materials in our coatings.

The SED, Solvents Emissions Dir�ective, regulates VOC emissions from facilities such as shipyards. This means we have to produce coatings, which have less solvent or are water-based.

We're also regulated by the BPD, the Biocidal Products Directive, where all biocides used in antifouling paints need to be evaluated and approved before they can legally be sold.

In the U.S. there are also a series of regulations governing the substances we can use in our products together with rules for VOC's and biocides. We are also now seeing new countries regulating in these areas such as Hong Kong where rules regarding VOCs are about to be introduced.

For our customers, there are two main areas of coatings legislation that have had a significant impact and I believe both have been beneficial. Firstly, the Control of Harmful Antifouling Systems on Ships, where from January 1, 2003 an International Maritime Organization (IMO) convention established a ban on the application of tributylin (TBT) antifoulings on ship hulls and from January 1, 2008 an end to the presence of TBT on ships hulls altogether. The convention entered into force on September 17, 2007.

Secondly, The SOLAS Performance Standard for Protective Coatings for dedicated seawater ballast tanks in all types of ships and double-side skin spaces of bulk carriers. Again I believe this is beneficial and welcome the introduction of a standard that will help increase the service life of coatings and ultimately crew and vessel safety.

Eikenes: In general we welcome environmental legislations. For instance the BPD in the EU has created an environment where biocides that are not well documented are more or less phased out of the market. All major suppliers are following this legislation. However, an increase in bureaucracy has been a consequence of this, which in turn has influenced negatively on innovations.

CW: How has your company dealt with the ban on TBT and how are these replacement products performing?

China is fast becoming the world's largest shipbuilding nation and has set a goal of becoming number one in the industry by 2015. In 2007 the order books at Chinese shipyards like the one pictured above belonging to the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., the eight largest in the world, surpassed those of Japan to be second only to South Korea. In terms of new orders, China was actually number one in 2007, totalling 98.5 million deadweight tons, or 42% of the global total, according to the Beijing government.
Brown: We were preparing for the ban on TBT long before it actually happened. In 1996 we introduced Intersleek 425, a biocide-free foul release technology for fast craft and in 1999 introduced Intersleek 700 for deep sea, scheduled ships. In 2007, we introduced the next generation of foul release technology, Intersleek 900. This is a patented biocide-free fluoropolymer foul release coating representing the latest advances in foul release technology, significantly improving upon the performance of the silicone-based system, Intersleek 700.

Eikenes: Jotun replaced TBT technology with silyl acrylates technology. We have now nearly two decades experience with this technology and it performs excellent. Our Sea�Quantum silyl acrylate technology is superior to other technologies and recently we have seen that all our major competitors are now following us with their attempts on silyl acrylates. We take this as a good sign and as a confirmation on that our choice of technology platform was right from the start.

In October 2008 Jotun launched SeaMate, a new silyl acrylate antifouling paint based on the technology and experience we have with our Sea�Quantum. SeaMate is a more affordable premium five-year product targeted to meet competition from the recent and upcoming silyl acrylate innovations from our competitors. While working on SeaMate we realized that many of our customers were going to face a situation where their vessels under construction would enter the market without any contracts, thus facing a situation where a significant part of the fleet will enter into lay-up. SeaMate Static is specially designed to handle static operations and is now offered to customers as a final coat to give 12-24 months performance.Overall, we have been experiencing an increasing demand for our products and services, and as a consequence of this we recently opened a new factory in South Korea.

CW: What are the current trends driving the marine coatings market and where is the technology headed?

Brown: There's no doubt that there's an increased environmental focus amongst our shipowner and shipyard clients and we hear the words 'sustainability' and 'corporate social responsibility' far more frequently. These issues are right at the top of company agendas and will drive future coatings developments. This will include less solvent, less biocides and a smaller range of raw materials for formulating chemists to work with. Indeed, many of our existing products are already especially designed to assist our customers' environmental initiatives. Interplate Zero for example is a water-based newbuilding shop primer that has zero VOCs.

Eikenes: Drivers in the marine coatings market have been unprecedented new building programs, which increase the supplies of coatings to new buildings significantly. A high number of new buildings will enter the market between 2009 and 2011 and add further to the supply/demand imbalance. The economic recession combined with the oversupply will keep the freight rates low and ship operators will look for more cost efficient coatings solutions.

In addition, environmental regulations will point the direction for how paint manufacturers will spend a significant part of their R&D resources. This will definitely lead to a 'greener' shipping industry to the benefit of all of us.

Rather than one size fits all we see that one size fits none. We truly believe that the marine coatings market will demand more customized solutions. The players that are able to fully deliver on customer demands and their changes in demands will win a great part of the market. We already see a diversity of technologies in antifouling paints and alternative solutions like fouling release coatings and hard coatings.

Another niche in the market is copper-free antifoulings, even though cuprous oxide is probably the biocide that has the most documentation as being environmentally sustainable. Recent innovations in antifoulings have focused on better delivery systems for the biocides. Cuprous oxide in combination with silyl acrylate binder technology is proven to be an excellent performer and will continue play a significant role in the future.

Side bar

New marine coating technology

One of the key features of Hempasil X3, a new marine paint from Hempel, is it helps reduce fuel consumption, a key concern among ship owners. With vast numbers of ships traveling the world's oceans daily and consuming large quantities of fossil fuels, it is not surprising that fleet owners would be focused on ways to reduce their fuel bills and carbon footprint. The problem of higher fuel costs associated with ineffective marine paint is the area the new Hempasil X3 package aims to address.

Hempasil X3 comes with a guarantee that it will reduce a sea vessel's fuel consumption by at least four to eight percent within the first year, depending on the type of ship. Because ships consume so much fuel, it has been shown to cut a vessel's fuel bill by up to $1.5 million annually with a promise to significantly lower CO2 emissions, according to the company.

The system comes as a package that includes the paint system, the fuel saving guarantee and a third-party onboard fuel monitoring system-SeaTrend from Force Tech�nology-that measures and documents fuel savings.

Hempasil X3 uses hydrogel silicone to prevent fouling on a vessel's hull. The water-absorbent hydrogel forms a polymeric network over the hull fooling organisms to perceive the hull as a liquid and not a solid surface, and as a result, they don't try to catch hold. The hydrogel layer is backed up by silicone, known for its self-cleaning properties.

Just this past April, Hempel also launched Hempadur Quattro, a new universal coating for year-round application. The new universal primer, Hempadur Quattro, is the first anticorrosive coating in a new epoxy category-Universal Epoxy. Officially launched on April 2, Hempadur Quattro is suitable for a wide range of surfaces and offers a year-round application window. It has been type-approved in accordance with IMO/PSPC rules for ballast tanks, which call for 15-year protection. It can be applied to almost any surface, greatly simplifying the specifications, and so reducing costs, on large coating projects, according to the company.

Available in red or black, Sherwin-Williams' SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant is an ablative coating, which allows the coating surface to slough off gradually, exposing new biocide that maintains the coating's effectiveness over time. It can be used to overcoat existing antifouling coating systems, and provides a long service life.
Sherwin-Williams' Protective and Marine Coatings Division recently introduced SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant, an environmentally responsible alternative to copper-based hull coatings that prevents the growth of marine organisms on commercial and military ships.

The new product received U.S. EPA approval on June 30, 2008. SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant is a solvent-based ablative coating that utilizes a metal-free organic biocide agent and provides the same effective antifouling protection as traditional copper-based coatings, according to the company. Because the antifouling agent in SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free has an extremely short hydrolytic half-life, it does not persist or accumulate in the marine environment and will not harm marine organisms. The breakdown products are biodegradable.

Additionally, SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant offers ship owners the potential advantages of added fuel savings and tonnage compared to traditional antifoulings because eliminating the copper provides a substantial reduction in weight-up to five pounds per gallon, or 40% less weight, compared to traditional copper antifoulings. Another environmental advantage of SeaGuard Heavy Metal Free Antifoulant is its lower level of VOCs at less than 340 grams per liter. It may be applied at temperatures as low as 40�F (10�C).

Sherwin-Williams forms new Protective & Marine Coatings Group

Sherwin-Williams has announced the newly named Protective & Marine Coatings. Formerly Sherwin-Williams Industrial & Marine Coatings, the new Protective & Marine Coatings group will continue to serve markets including water and wastewater, petrochemical, food and beverage, power, marine and offshore, pharmaceuticals, health care, roads and bridges, steel fabrication, industrial flooring, rail, pulp and paper, and general industrial.

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