Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) banned in-water hull cleaning in South African ports some years ago.
It has today been reported in Africa Ports & Ships Newsletter and FTW Online that TNPA has announced steps to re-introduce in-water hull cleaning of ships in ports for permit-holding service providers. According to TNPA’s environmental manager at the Port of Durban, Ms Simphiwe Mazibuko, this will stringently manage biofouling, where marine organisms attach themselves to the hull of a ship, potentially spreading alien and invasive species across borders. Ms Mazibuko said that biofouling slows down the vessel and reduces fuel efficiency, which results in vessels burning more fuel and emitting more carbon emissions. The cleaning of ship biofouling is recommended by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to help vessels meet the new regulations to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by 2020. Ms Mazibuko said that TNPA’s decision to offer hull cleaning in South African ports, in response to market demand, was influenced by significant advances in hull-cleaning technology, which minimise the spread of alien species during the cleaning process.
TNPA will introduce a strict permit for all service providers undertaking hull cleaning in any of its ports, in line with IMO Guidelines. Submissions from prospective service providers are presently being reviewed as part of TNPA’s tender process.