In the second half of 2015 application of Ecolock started on a newbuild Floating Storage and Regastification Unit (FSRU) in China. This is the second project carried out for EXMAR nv, after the application on the Caribbean FLNG in 2013.
Like the first project, the FSRU is built in blocks. These blocks are coated individually before assembly, leaving only the weld seams and the areas inaccessible due to the support blocks to be painted after the barge is assembled. The Ecolock system consists of a single, homogenous covering of the steel.
Painting over weld seams after the blocks have been assembled is very easy. It leaves a smooth finished surface and the erection joint paint blends in perfectly with the coating of the rest of the hull.
As with all Ecolock applications, a trained and qualified paint inspector is on site monitoring the entire preparation and application to ensure adherence to the specifications at each step of the process and to assist with any problems that may arise. This is essential for a coating that is intended to last the life of the ship. Ecolock comes with a warranty as long as it is standardly applied and if the coating is maintained according to the specifications.
Ecolock is an extremely tough and durable coating designed to remain in excellent condition for 15 – 25 years without drydocking, repair or replacement. Ecolock can be cleaned underwater as often as needed to meet the UWILD and weight requirements of FPSOs, drill ships and other offshore vessels. Ecolock is the result of continual R&D on offshore hull coatings since the 1990s.
Application of Ecolock can be done at newbuild or, to replace another coating, in drydock after the vessel has been in service. The newbuild option is ideal. In either case the surface preparation requires a profile of at least 75μm and white or near-white steel (SA 2.5 or better). Once the preparation has been carried out and inspected, Ecolock can be applied rather rapidly. No primer or other type of coating is required. Just two or more coats of Ecolock each of 500μm with an overcoat time of about three hours minimum and no maximum.
Ecolock is completely non-toxic. It is a hard, impermeable coating which even the toughest barnacle will not penetrate. This is in direct contrast to antifouling or foul-release coatings. Barnacles and other fouling organisms attach and penetrate those coatings right through to the steel permitting the start and spread of corrosion. In the case of Ecolock the barnacles, coral and other fouling organisms can be removed completely by divers using special equipment, leaving no trace and restoring the coating to its original condition. And because it is non-toxic, it is safe to clean the Ecolock coated hull when needed for UWILD or simply to reduce the weight when too much fouling has accumulated. This can be done even in sensitive waters.
The application on the FSRU is scheduled to be finalized later this year with a planned delivery of the unit not much after.