During a conference held at the European Parliament in Brussels, Hydrex was presented an award for the ECOTEC-STC project which was named as one of the best LIFE projects completed in 2010.
To select the best LIFE-Environment projects a lengthy identification and evaluation process was followed, based on a set of best practice criteria. These were developed by EU Member States in collaboration with the European Commission. The objective was to help improve the dissemination of LIFE project results by clearly identifying those projects which could have the most positive impact on the environment if widely applied.
Over a 3.5 year period the objective of this project was to evaluate the environmental and economical benefits of Ecospeed as a biocide-free durable hull protection and antifouling system. The project was divided into several Project Tasks which were all carried out under the supervision and organization of Hydrex NV.
The project has shown that Ecospeed as a Surface Treated Coating is a valuable alternative technology to the biocidal copper based antifoulings that are currently on the market. From the project tasks that were carried out, it has been demonstrated that Ecospeed exhibits the following environmental and economical benefits:
• There is no need for full re-application in drydock. After supervised application, Ecospeed comes with a guaranteed lifetime of 10 years and an expected lifetime of 25 years.
• Ecospeed has low VOC contents and in comparison with foul release coatings or copper-based antifoulings, far fewer VOCs are emitted with each application.
• Effluent analysis has shown that Ecospeed is 100% free of biocides and therefore environmentally safe.
• Regular underwater treatment of Ecospeed is put forward as a Best Available Technology to minimize the risk of transferring non-indigenous marine species (NIS).
• Advanced maintenance tools have been developed to clean and condition simultaneously.
• The analysis of the roughness characteristics has demonstrated an optimization of surface characteristics by underwater treatment.
The dissemination activities and events organized around the project results engendered significant interest. Proof of increased interest in Ecospeed as an alternative to antifoulings is given by the number of applications since the beginning of the project. Over 100 applications were carried out since December 1, 2006, of which more than 60 were full hull applications.