Meet Whalewashing the carwash for ships

What a carwash is for cars, is WhaleWashing for ships. And of course, the Port of Rotterdam is the first port in the world to host this innovative technology. WhaleWashing will change the maritime maintenance activities. It will have a global impact on the environment and carbon emissions. And partly thanks to the help of PortXL, it all started in Rotterdam.

Clean ship, clean water

First of all, how does WhaleWashing work? Imagine, the ship is in the water and advanced sensors monitor the condition of the hull in real time, from a thin layer of pollution to a strong deposit of barnacles. These sensors also control the robotic arms of the brushes. Then add a double inflatable barrier on both sides and powerful pumps and filters to recycle the water. This way no waste escapes to the surrounding waters. So WhaleWashing cleans the ship and keeps the water clean.

Modern solution for an old problem

Guido Bardelli, founder of WhaleWashing, is very enthusiastic about this technique. Guido: 'WhaleWashing is a straightforward concept. The machine only uses sea water to wash the hull. No chemicals, just sea water. And after use, the water is recycled and filtered to prevent any waste going outside into the surrounding water.' WhaleWashing is a modern solution for an old problem. Namely, biofouling on the surface of the hull causes an increase in fuel consumption and higher emissions into the atmosphere.

Clean in between two to four hours

The question that every ship owner sets first is: ‘How long does it take to wash?’ After all, time is money in the transport world. Guido reassures: 'We clean the whole hull in two to four hours. Because it is extremely fast and efficient, service ships can be cleaned more frequently between the mandatory inspections required every five years. The benefits are evident: less pollution, lower fuel consumption, fewer maintenance costs and a more efficient fleet.

Much help from PortXL

An invention like this can not find a better birthplace than in the port of Rotterdam. Guido: 'The port of Rotterdam is an important example of innovation and efficiency. And do not forget the men and women of Port XL. PortXL provided us the help we needed to start, to incorporate the company, and most importantly, they connected us to the right people in the maritime business. Yes, they really accelerated us. And they keep helping us, even in the future. Port XL started the acceleration program also in Antwerp and Singapore. And they connected us to Hamburg and the USA. Our mission is to create a global network of washing machines, continually monitoring and improving commercial fleet efficiency."