Unanderra's T&C Marine has won a major award for a revolutionary method of cleaning marine bio-fouling and other debris from boat hulls with a cheaper, environmentally friendly process.
The unique method involves using heated sea-water to sterilise hulls of moored ships by killing bacterial fouling without polluting harbour water.
The process also helps dramatically reduce greenhouse gas produced by fuel-burning ships, which end up using less fuel.
Despite the proven efficiency of the system used by the Royal Australian Navy and many shipping companies, T&C Marine faces competition from other less-efficient systems as it received invitations to further develop the process overseas.
T&C Marine business development manager Mark Luchetti said financial and administrative assistance from the NSW Department of Trade and Investment had boosted the company’s plans to export the system to Singapore, the United States, Malaysia and New Zealand.
‘‘Those talks are continuing,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s so environment friendly that we’ve received a permit to operate in the Great Barrier Reef marine park.’’
The design recently won the Maritime Australia National Civil Industry Innovation Award at Darling Harbour during the Pacific 2013 NSW defence industry trade show display.
That event showcased the latest innovations and technology to armed forces and there were 18 nominations for the award.
Marine operations manager Chris Geater said development of the hull-cleansing process had created additional employment in the company, where there are prospects for four more jobs.
The technology was designed by local Illawarra firm Commercial Diving Services with Department of Trade and Industry support, under a regional assistance scheme and licensed to T&C Marine, which spent $517million and three years perfecting it.
The dead marine bio-fouling stay on the hull until the ship reaches open water where they are sluiced off by relentless waves and drop into the ocean.