News Ship safety

Hull Coating: Examar FSRU Locks in for Longevity With Ecolock

Subsea Industries has applied its hard-type Ecolock protective coating to the hull of a 26,320m³ floating storage and regasification (FSRU) unit nearing completion at a shipyard in Nantong, China.

It is the second major coatings project Subsea Industries has completed in China for Exmar.

Following the company’s approach to applying hard coating technology to its barge-type floating assets, in combination with the success of the 2013 Ecospeed application to the 16,100m³ Caribbean FLNG unit, the decision was made to specify Ecolock for the entire hull of the newbuild FSRU.

The experience of the shipyard gained from the Caribbean FLNG application – the first time it had applied a Subsea Industries’ product – resulted in the hard coating being applied more quickly.

Like the first project, the FSRU was built in blocks which were coated prior to assembly. Weld seams and inaccessible areas were coated after the unit was assembled.

Manuel Hof, Subsea Industries’ production executive added: “The shipyard was very satisfied with the coating, due to the ease and speed of application as well as the quality of the coating. I am told that had the hull been coated with a traditional coating system it would have taken at least seven days from surface preparation to the final coat. The yard was able to apply two coats in a single day, which minimised the risks associated with multi-layer applications. It also saved the yard time and labour costs.”

hull coating

Exmar has opted for Subsea Industries’ hard coating technology for its barge-type floating assets (photograph courtesy of Exmar)

Ecolock is single, homogenous protective covering for static steel structures that provides asset owners with a tough, durable coating designed to remain intact throughout the vessel’s life without drydocking, repair or replacement.

“The glass-flake reinforced coating is ideally suited to this kind of application,” says Hof. “Combined with long-term protection, the coating can be cleaned underwater without any damage to the coating. As long as correctly applied and maintained, Ecolock can be guaranteed for up to 20 years for this type of application. This puts it in a league of its own.”

Prior to application, preparation work has to be carried out to ensure a structural profile of at least 75µm (SA2.5 or better). Ecolock is then applied but requires no primer or other type of coating. Typically, just two 500µm coats are applied with minimum curing time of three hours between each application.

Exmar believes “Ecolock is a strong contender for being the best choice of protection of offshore vessels and structures that need to be kept on site in production for extended periods of time without drydocking. The guarantee and the environmental safety of the coating make it even more attractive for companies like Exmar.”

Shortly after the Ecolock application, the FSRU was floated out for completion of the topsides installation and pre-commissioning of the unit.

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