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CLIIN: Dry bulk shipping can easily avoid spilling 300,000 tonnes of chemicals into the world’s oceans

Simple measures could save as much as 300,000 tonnes of chemicals from spilling into the world’s oceans, according to the backers of an environmentally-friendly robot technology developed for ship cargo hold cleaning.

Danish-based CLIIN, which has so far deployed robots (pictured) to shipowners’ Ultrabulk, Norden, J. Lauritzen and Oldendorff, also claims its technology could greatly reduce the risk of cargo contamination, surveyor non-compliance hold-ups, and charter party disputes, as well as substantially reduce cargo hold cleaning costs.

For decades, the same methods have been used to clean dry-bulk cargo holds – with crew members using strong alkaline and acidic chemicals, scrubbing equipment, and brushes, often while suspended from rigging systems while holding high-powered pressure hoses.

But, in an another seemingly un-noticed anomaly for shipping and its environmental record, this process has also meant that the dry bulk sector alone disseminates approximately 300,000 tonnes of chemicals, or 300m litres, a year into the world’s oceans when cleaning cargo holds, according to Thomas Jørgensen, co-founder and director of CLIIN.

Jørgensen, co-founder and director of CLIIN, tells Maritime CEO: “For too long the dry-bulk industry has been rigidly fixed to traditional and outdated cargo hold cleaning methods that are not only time-consuming, but pose a risk to crew welfare, and expose our oceans to unnecessary exposure to millions of litres of chemicals.

“In securing pioneering shipowners like Ultrabulk, Norden, Lauritzen, and Oldendorff, and getting their positive feedback, we are very hopeful that the rest of the dry bulk industry will see this as an opportunity to save costs, time and improve safety, while having a positive environmental impact.”


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