AkzoNobel teams up with Norwegian bluetech start-up

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Fjord Tech Solutions has caught the eye of the world’s largest producer of yacht coating products, AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings. Together, the companies will develop an automated hull-cleaning system for recreational boats.

Fjord Tech Solutions’ unique technology provides boaters with a new way to keep their boat bottoms clean through a combination of intelligent cleaning and using sustainable fouling control – instead of traditional biocidal antifouling coatings.

The two companies are aiming to set new standards of operational efficiencies for the recreational boat community – through a new in-water hull cleaning system, which will begin testing at Vollen Marina in Asker, outside Oslo, in 2022.

Currently in development with cutting-edge Norwegian start-up, Fjord Tech Solutions, the Fast Track Hull Cleaner saves boat owners time and money by eliminating the need to lift vessels out of the water. It cleans your boat in few minutes, like a carwash cleans your car – touchless and fully automatic. Accessible to the boat owner through an app, with real time video streaming of the cleaning process.

The system sees high pressure water streams used to ensure boats coated with an International® hull coating continue to provide the stand-out savings they are renowned for. A test project for the zero-emission system was co-funded by the Norwegian Environment Agency from 2017 to 2019. However, cooperation with AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings represents a commercial breakthrough for both Fjord Tech Solutions and the company’s patent pending technology.

“The cooperation with AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings is based on a new, environmentally friendly coating type in combination with our hull cleaning system. The end result is zero harmful emissions to sea and longer coating and vessel lifetime – both important contributors toward a more sustainable boating and yacht industry,” says Anders Øgaarden, CEO of Fjord Tech Solutions.

AkzoNobel Global Yacht Coatings will support Fjord Tech Solutions with products, competence and financing during the pilot build and trials. Trials are currently underway using silicone foul release coatings from AkzoNobel’s International® brand.

AkzoNobel Global Yacht Coatings Global Business Director Bilal Salahuddin says: “At AkzoNobel, we are committed to developing solutions that combine unrivalled performance with the highest of environmental standards.

As a result, we are investing significant resources in the development of the next generation of foul release coatings.

We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Fjord Tech Solutions, as we believe that their technology together with the performance of our coatings is a combination that will deliver exceptional results for our customers.”

Fjord Tech Solutions CEO, Anders Øgaarden, comments: “Recent years have seen the global shipping fleet benefit from significant advances in in-water hull cleaning solutions in combination with high quality, eco-friendly and long-lasting coatings, such as the Intersleek 1100SR. “Our ambition is to share these advances with recreational boat users worldwide to provide them with a system that results in reduced hull maintenance, faster hulls, and considerable fuel savings. That way, boat owners can spend more time at sea with optimal hull performance.

Fjord Tech Solution’s Chairman, Roy Norum, states: “We’re delighted to have AkzoNobel on board as a strong and proactive partner. With its leading yacht coatings brand International®, AkzoNobel is known to be a paint manufacturer at the forefront of innovation. We can’t wait to see the benefits of our teams working together on shaping the future of not only hassle-free, but sustainable recreational boating, through simplified hull maintenance in a global perspective.”

The pilot program, featuring 30 motorboats, will commence spring of 2022 at the highly environmentally focused Vollen Marina, in the Oslo fjord in Norway. Once concluded successfully, the system will be rolled out to boat owners as a subscription-based service.

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