Although the ship newbuilding market continues to be in decline, the market for marine coatings benefitted from an increase in ship repair and maintenance. Marine coatings manufacturers are focusing their efforts on developing antifouling coatings that will decrease maintenance costs and increase vessel efficiency.
“The marine coatings market grew steadily in 2012 and is expected to continue to similarly in 2013 and beyond,” said Tim McDonough, USCA marine market director for Sherwin-Williams Protective and Marine Coatings. “Overall, market growth is expected to be around four percent globally with Asia continuing to grow and both Europe and the U.S. flat.”
Jotun reported that 2012 was a productive year for them for marine coatings. “Several new products were launched to the market in 2012,” said Tom Evensen, group category manager antifouling, Jotun Coatings. “Notably all major suppliers have now included silyl antifouling products into their portfolio, a technology platform that Jotun has promoted and refined for decades in the market.”
In addition, Jotun reported there has been numerous launches of low-cost solutions to respond to a financially troubled industry where minimizing vessel maintenance cost – including paint investment – is a focus area. “All in all we experienced a polarized antifouling market with cost focus on one end and investment in vessel efficiency on the other. The demand of low cost antifouling solutions were larger in 2012, meaning that the average product applied in 2012 most likely did not contribute to improve the environmental profile of the shipping industry,” Evensen added. “For 2013 and beyond we work towards and anticipate increased awareness of the importance of hull and antifouling performance with regards to influence on vessel efficiency. Typical energy efficiency reduction due to hull performance ranges between 15 to 20 percent over a docking interval of 60 months in the market today. We anticipate a transition towards more premium solutions offering significant savings in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions compared to the current market average.”
The newbuilding (NB) market has continued to decline dramatically over the past three years. “The NB market in 2012 represented a little more than a third of all marine coatings sales,” said McDonough. “When a sizable part of your market is going backward, obviously there is considerable pressure placed on the remaining sectors. Fortunately, we are seeing an uptick in ship repair and maintenance, which will help offset the loss of volume from NB. Many of the vessels completed during the building boom are now drydocking for their first maintenance cycle.”
The potential contribution to improve ship energy efficiency offers a significant growth potential with regards to transition to more premium hull coating solutions, according to Jotun. “Key factors to achieve this growth include increased market awareness of the importance of hull performance,” said Evensen. “In collaboration with the marine coatings industry Jotun is currently leading the initiative to establish reliable measurability of hull performance. An historical lack of accurate and reliable measurability on hull performance has resulted in limited incentive to invest lifetime performance in both newbuilding and maintenance situations. Hence, such initiative is considered absolutely crucial to increase market awareness and contribute to growth in the marine coatings market.”
Jotun reported that although a reduced new building actively reduces the demand from yard countries located in northeast Asia, this area still represents the largest volumes due to new building and dry docking activity. “With regards to locations of owners and management companies, Europe represents an important area,” said Evensen.
Shipping is global in nature with the result that even regional and local environmental regulations may have an industry-wide impact. “As we see it the impact of environmental regulation both recently enacted and on the horizon, on marine coatings is largely twofold,” said Evensen. “On the one hand it is making it technically more challenging to deliver coatings that perform. At the same time, it is serving to increase the value add associated with higher levels of performance – in particular where the coatings have an impact on energy efficiency. As such, we see environmental regulations as an important driver of innovation in the marine coatings market.”
Sherwin-Williams is actively developing coatings systems with lower VOCs, higher solids or waterborne alternatives in order to provide sensible options for the ship owner. “As far as the emerging markets go, we believe it is just a matter of time before they adopt more stringent regulations,” said McDonough. “The difficulties they will face in enacting regulations, will be in finding the proper balance between the benefit to the environment, the economic impact and the constraints of technology.”
Sherwin-Williams has been active in pursuing new technologies. Higher solids, lower VOC and waterborne coatings remain a constant focus in R&D. “Antifouling technology remains a focus for the marine market where fuel savings can result in a much lower cost of operation for owners,” McDonough added. “Obviously, IMO regulations on ballast tank and cargo oil tank coatings have put a renewed emphasis on epoxy lining technology that we continue to pursue. Sherwin-Williams strives to be at the forefront of the ‘next generation’ and ‘breakthrough’ technologies that meet needs not yet articulated.”
Sherwin-Williams offer ultra-high solids FastClad ER, which is a single-coat ballast tank system engineered to address the challenging application issue of coating irregular surfaces inside immersion service structure. The company reports, its edge retentive epoxy chemistry dramatically extends the service life of a tank, replacing traditional epoxies which tend to shrink during the curing phase and can lead to early corrosion.
“Drying to walk-on levels in four hours and returning to immersion service in 24 hours, with Fast Clad ER a dry film thickness of 20-40 mils can be achieved,” added McDonough. “It is now possible to apply a full coat in the morning and begin touch-up in the afternoon. The result it shortened schedules and reduced labor costs. It can also be formulated with fluorescing optically active pigments that enable applicators and inspectors to easily identify holidays, pinholes, defects and areas with improper film thickness using simple visual inspection tools, thus preventing costly rework and premature failures.”
Also from Sherwin-Williams is solvent-free Dura-Plate 301. Dura-Plate 301 provides superior adhesion on damp, marginally prepared surfaces, and is designed for situations where users do not have the luxury of applying coatings on dry, clean, shop-primed steel, according to the company. “This includes newbuild environments where surfaces may be prepared in conditions where you can’t control humidity, completely dry the steel substrate or keep flash rust at low levels,” McDonough explained. “Dura-Plate 301 replaces solventborne coatings and abrasive blasting with a newer, IMO PSPC-type approved method that can reduce surface preparation and coating application costs by 15 percent and shorten conversion and building schedules.”
Jotun’s Hull Performance Solutions have been designed to make it easy to maximize hull performance and thereby reduce both fuel cost and greenhouse gas emissions. “The solutions combine state-of-the-art antifouling and application technologies with reliable measurability and high performance guarantees,” said Evensen. “As part of its ‘Hull Performance Solutions’ Jotun employs, the at any time, best coating technologies available in its portfolio.”
SeaQuantum X200 is Jotun’s first antifouling designed to maximize initial performance as well as lifetime performance with no limitations in terms of formulation cost. “Efficiency gain of approximately 15 percent on average over a 60-month dry-docking interval as compared to a market average solution is expected,” said Evensen. “This equates to an approximately 13 percent fuel cost and GHG emission saving if speed is to be maintained over the interval. The saving is based on comparing guaranteed minimum performance under a high performance guarantee with market average performance as estimated in MEPC63-4-8.”
Jotun launched SeaLion Resilient in the first half of 2013. It is product specifically formulated for owners seeking improved maintenance docking efficiency. “The properties of SeaLion Resilient significantly reduce the risk of mechanical damage and maintain hull condition throughout the service period,” said Evensen. “By simplifying maintenance and reducing need for repair, SeaLion Resilient can contribute to a significant reduction in off-hire time and docking and labour costs, while keeping paint consumption to a minimum.”
Much attention has been directed to the protection of the money-generating areas of bulk carriers; dry cargo holds, as they are exposed to aggressive operating conditions. Jotun’s Jotaguard 600 series is engineered to provide long lasting cargo hold protection and consists of four products offering different solutions for a wide range of cargos. Good mechanical strength enables the products to withstand abrasion, impact and gouging. The combination of excellent corrosion resistance, high dock efficiency and fast back in service provide the asset owner maximized operation efficiency and reduction in time and resources needed for maintenance.
Jotun also welcomed the new IMO MSC.288(87) Performance Standard for Protective Coatings for Cargo Oil Tanks of Crude Oil Tankers, which has come into force this year and which will ensure a given standard for the entire coating process from steel preparation to control measures. “Jotun has successfully completed and passed COT testing with a wide range of coatings and our customers can trust they are selecting appropriate and high performing coating systems fit for this purpose,” said Evensen
PPG Industries’ protective and marine coatings business recently launched Sigmacover 580 epoxy anticorrosive/tiecoat coating. It is engineered to provide ease of use and economical application. It offers a practical over coating window and, with its ability to be applied at temperatures as low as 5°C (41°F), supports year ‘round application. The new coating “provides an outstanding spot-repair solution for the dry dock market due to its unique functionality,” according to Sijmen Visser, PPG global marketing manager, marine. “It is an epoxy coating for underwater hulls that functions both as an anticorrosive and as an antifouling tiecoat. This dual-use formulation means that it can be over-coated directly with a range of antifouling and is suitable for use during routine maintenance and repair dry dockings. Ultimately, this provides significant budget savings for the ship-owner and can dramatically reduce time in dry dock. For areas that need spot blast of 40 percent or less, it gives customers excellent value, superb performance, and an outstanding return on investment.”
“We know that ship-owners are under pressure from a number of factors, and one source of expenditure for any ship-owner after delivery of a vessel is the cost of dry dockings,” Visser added. “Although the costs of paint are relatively minor, the total of surface pretreatment, application costs, time in the dry dock and being off-hire adds up significantly. Therefore, we have worked with our product specialists to come up with a product that can reduce dry dock time and ensure a fast turnaround in order to reduce some of the above factors.”