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Trustper Aims To Clean Up

Trustper AS has devised a cost-efficient and environmental-friendly alternative to grit blasting ballast tanks ofocean-going vessels. The Norwegian company’s ownerand founder Per Schaanning talked to David Porteousabout the benefits his business can offer ship owners.

After service in the merchant navy, MrSchaanning enjoyed a long and successfulcareer in the marine supplyand service industry. He worked for morethan ten years in sales and marketing for acompany supplying grit blasting gear, aircompressors and associated equipment toship owners and other customers in themaritime industry. He then spent 25 yearsin the international marine chemicals businessuntil his ex-employer was acquired bythe Wilhelmsen Group.

“I was asked to stay on but I said nothank you because by then I had decidedto launch Trustper,” he recalled. “My aimwas to simply improve the cleaning,maintenance and preservation of ballasttanks and void spaces on all types ofcommercial vessels.

“The Trustper concept is highly costefficient compared to traditional methodsinvolving grit blasters and ultra high-waterpressure systems. It’s not an understatementto say that the cost involved in usingsuch heavy and specialised equipment isdramatic. It’s a big issue for ship owners.“Our products, however, are easy to apply– saving days in the dry dock – inexpensiveand environmentally friendly. They do notcontain any hydrocarbon solvents or oils, and all ingredients are completely biodegradableand environmental friendly.“Compared to grit blasting, the cost savingscan be as much as 90 per cent. Duringexhaustive pre-launch trials conducted byDet Norske Veritas in 2006, the resultsachieved were equal too, or better than thestandards required by ISO 8501-1.”

Rust Remover
Trustper offers two core products: CoatscaleRemover I and Coatscale Remover II (referredto respectively as CSR I and CSR II). The firstof these is a blend of vegetable oils, driers,wetting agents and corrosion inhibitors andits primary use is to act as a rust remover andtemporary corrosion inhibitor in seawaterballast tanks. Applied by spray or flotation, itpenetrates the porous rust to reach the freshsteel surface underneath, where it spreadsout making a thin, oily film that loosensthe rust.

During the curing process, the filmexpands and pushes off the rust inflakes. CSR I then dries to a soft, nonstickycoating, which gives a temporarycorrosion protection of the fresh metalagainst seawater and humidity. CSR I canbe used for other purposes, for example,as a semi-hard coating for protection ofsteel and metal surfaces against atmosphericcorrosion.

CSR II, which contains linseed oil, driestwice as quickly in comparison to its sisterproduct, meaning tanks can be ballastedwithin the following day, or even same day,from the time of application. It has also beensuccessfully applied to the cargo spaces onmerchant vessels, proving highly resilientfor the transportation of cargoes such aslimestone. Furthermore, its heat resistanceproperties make it suitable for thesurface treatment of steam pipes and similar applications.

Safely Applied
Both products are ISO 14001 certifiedand can be safely applied by a vessel’screw using common shipboard spraypaint equipment at low pressure and coveragerates of 600sqm per hour can beachieved. The flotation method could particularlybe applied in deep tanks andnarrow double bottoms linked to similarconfined spaces. Fresh water washingprior to application is not required. Tanksurfaces can be treated once moderatelydry (not soaking) after de-ballasting, butmud and water residues must first beremoved from the tank.

Used by itself, CSR I can offer protectionfor steel surfaces for up to 18 monthsbefore touching up is needed, however thisperiod is doubled to 36 months when usedin conjunction with CSR II as part of a two stage process. This can be extended evenfurther, to up to 60 months or more in casea hard paint system has been applied. This has been made possible when a third additionaltreatment stage is carried out using Aquatuff High Foam in order to remove CSR Ionly, soaked and integrated into existing ironsurface oxide. (Reference to DNV test result)

It has to be emphasised that a sound steelsurface treated by CSR II has extreme resistanceagainst means of its product removal,physical as well as chemical means.

To date, Trustper’s products have been successfullyused on a wide range of vesselsnotably handymax, panamax and capsizebulk carriers, tankers, box carriers, offshoresupply vessels, FPSOs and barges. The companybelieves its concept is also suitable fornon-maritime applications; anythingfrom treating car chassis to maintainingsteel bridges.

Growing Network
Via a growing network of sales and distributionagents and contractors, Trustpercovers all parts of Europe and Asia, withTaiwan being a major stronghold (andwhere Mr Schaanning lives for most ofthe year) apart from spending particularbase time with Norwegian sales agentUlrik Qvale & Partners when he is backin Norway.

Mr Schaanning revealed the company iscurrently holding negotiations with otherprospective partners to extend its reach tocover North and South America, whilstlinks with the Wilhelmsen Group have beenmaintained as Wilhelmsen Chemicals A/Sremains a key supplier.

Still a relatively small start-up company,Trustper is relying on word ofmouth and face-to-face contact at exhibitionsand trade fairs rather than expensivead campaigns to get its messageacross in the marketplace.

“The shipping industry can be quite conservativeand we have been met with a lot ofskepticism about the potential cost savingsof our solutions until we show them our testdata,” smiled Mr Schaanning. “We areattracting growing interest from ship ownersacross the world and are already winning alot of repeat orders.

“Trustper is unique – there is noother company in the world todayoffering the same service. Our actualsales figures to date are modest becausethe shipping community is still suffering,particularly the tanker fleets, asa result of the post-2008 slowdown. Thishas slowed our growth rate but we arestill very optimistic because we feel wehave just scratched the surface of a hugepotential market.” nInside

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