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Hyundai shipyard and KCC develop solvent-free coating for very large ore carrier

By Lim Chang-won Posted : March 10, 2020, 12:58 Updated : March 10, 2020, 12:58

[Courtesy of KCC]

SEOUL -- Solvent-free coating developed by KCC, a top provider of construction materials and paints, through joint work with South Korea's Hyundai shipbuilding group, will be applied to a very large ore carrier (VLOC) equipped with eco-friendly facilities to reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions. 

Harmful air pollutants emitted from shipyards come mostly from volatile organic compounds used in solvent-based paints. As an alternative, solvent-free paints have been recommended, but it's been difficult to use them for commercial ships. Since the viscosity of new paints is low, it is easy to work and realize the coating of the desired thickness so that the construction period can be shortened.

Through technical cooperation with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), KCC has improved painting workability by applying technologies that can maintain the safety and high basic properties required for ships without the need for organic solvents, while maintaining proper viscosity.

KCC said on Tuesday that solvent-free painting can form various thicknesses with just one painting. "As solvent-free coating can be an alternative to reducing air pollution, I hope it will be an opportunity to secure global competitiveness by expanding the base of eco-friendly shipbuilding technology," KCC's paint business head Kim Bum-sung said in a statement.

Under new rules, the amount of sulfur emanating from ships should be reduced from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent. Ships can low-sulfur fuel oil or install an exhaust gas cleaning system such as scrubbers. 

They Hyundai shipyard has received an order to build and deliver 18 eco-friendly VLOCs by 2022 that would be operated by Polaris Shipping under a long-term contract with Vale S.A., a Brazilian multinational corporation. 

In November 2018, Samsung Heavy Industries said its research team has teamed up with Jotun, a Norwegian chemical company dealing in decorative paints and performance coatings, to develop a solvent-free coating technology. Samsung Heavy's technology was used for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier.

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