A marine biocide that, without fatal effect on the target organism, prevents the growth of barnacles on ship hulls. Too good to be true? Not in the world of I-Tech.
Marine organisms, particularly barnacles, pose a major problem for shipowners world-wide. When gathering the facts, it is easy to understand why. I-Tech CEO Philip Chaabane explains the relationship between I-Tech’s biocide and barnacles as like that of two magnetic poles repelling each other.
“Marine growth on the hull means greatly reduced efficiency with increased fuel consumption. However, I-Tech has developed a marine biocide that specifically and efficiently repels barnacles, preventing them from attaching themselves to the ship hull. Our registered and patented substance is called Selektope, and it is used in paints and coatings world-wide”.
Protecting hulls – and vulnerable environments
Previously, the manufacturers of marine paints and coatings have been forced to rely on products based on high levels of copper to prevent fouling. However, I-Tech offers an alternative to copper, which can boost the effect of copper in paints or replace it entirely. In this way, I-Tech is helping to change the future, making it much brighter for marine paint developers as well as shipowners. And not to mention the environment!
“Full effect is achieved using a tiny amount of Selektope when coating a ship hull”, says Philip Chaabane.
In addition to saving fuel with a highly efficient biocide such as Selektope, it also reduces the risk of costly hull cleaning measures that introduce the risk transferring invasive aquatic species in marinas, ports and other vulnerable environments. Selektope is biodegradable and will, in time be eliminated from the marine environment.
With shipowners under demand from authorities and from their customers regarding their environmental profile, Chaabane says: “We see a great potential for improvement for shipowners who want to reduce their overall environmental impact, simply by selecting paints and coatings containing Selektope”, he continues ; “In addition, we can guarantee that our solution is more efficient than other biocides in preventing long-term fouling”.
Making an impact
The European Union has the world’s toughest requirements when it comes to biocides used in marine environments. I-Tech has been approved for manufacturing and selling Selektope for use in paints and coatings in the most important markets, including the EU.
“We focus primarily on shipping companies and paint manufacturers, already having established partnerships with the largest players in the industry. Several shipping companies in collaboration with paint companies have used our product over several years, and they deem it superior to all other solutions”.
“We now look forward to entering new partnerships as well as maintaining current business. The Donsö Shipping Meet is an excellent arena for meeting new contacts and making an impact”, Philip Chaabane concludes.