Final sign-off of the antifouling active substance Selektope by the European Commission coincides the first disclosure of a commercial application in Asia.
The first publicly-disclosed commercial application for a marine coating featuring Selektope will start on November 1 in Singapore, swiftly after developer I-Tech secured European Commission sign-off that the revolutionary antifouling substance can also be used by yards anywhere in Europe.
Formal EC adoption of the approval regulation has been signed by EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, meaning that Selektope is permitted for use under the EU Biocidal Products Directive in professional and non-professional antifouling products throughout the EU from January 1, 2016.
Selektope deters barnacles from settling on ship hulls by stimulating the swimming action of larvae. It is included as a 0.1% constituent of antifouling coatings - a fraction of the active substance needed to achieve comparable performance if traditional copper biocides are used.
“We are delighted to receive sign-off from the EC,” said Philip Chaabane, Managing Director, I-Tech. “Now all antifouling coatings suppliers are at liberty to offer innovation by deploying Selektope, safe in the knowledge that they are fully approved in Japan, Korea, China and Europe.”
I-Tech reached a non-exclusive commercial agreement covering the use of Selektope in 2014 with Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP). The first publicly-disclosed project will see a new copper-free product from CMP applied to the side-walls of the vessel Calypso for Swedish operator Laurin Maritime. The IMO II tanker is undergoing its first five year survey at Singapore yard Sembcorp. No special provisions are required beyond normal preparation work.
The project comes after several years of strong performance trial results, according to Mikael Laurin, Chief Executive Officer, Laurin Maritime. Selektope’s characteristics closely align with Laurin’s sustainability commitments, which extend to all aspects of shipboard operations, he said.
“We first took note of Selektope in 2010. Antifouling coatings have a major impact on fuel efficiency. Our ships operate in South East Asia and South America; port congestion can lead to vessels idling in tropical waters, bringing heavy fouling. I-Tech’s technology represents a major step in delivering an antifouling that performs the way we want, comparable to the performance achieved by antifouling coatings before the TBT ban in 2002.”
Masaya Hata, CMP General Manager (Sales), commented: “The extensive test applications we have made including Selektope have led us to plan for this coating to perform as a five-year period antifouling coating. We are convinced that our customers will save fuel using this coating; our plan is to evaluate performance on a working ship and position the new antifouling coating in the market over the coming three years.”
Selektope is patent protected in antifouling applications in all key shipbuilding and repair countries until 2026. Chaabane points out that a second safeguard against imitation is provided by the protection of original data by EU law, as well as the extensive documentation required to support acceptance of active substances under the EU Biocidal Products Directive.
Selektope – further improving antifouling paints
Selektope introduces for the first time ever a pharmacological mode of action to combat barnacle settlement. By temporarily stimulating the octopamine receptor, the barnacle larvae’s swimming behaviour is activated and the organisms are deterred from the hull. These ground-breaking discoveries enable unrivalled power at very low concentrations, yet within the limits of rigorous risk assessments. Selektope is an organic, non-metal compound with efficacy proven at 0.1% w/w.
I-Tech is a Gothenburg based bio-tech company with global reach, holding all IP and regulatory rights to its all new antifouling agent Selektope (generic name, medetomidine).
The company is privately held and is supported by Swedish Energy Association, the European Innovation Initiative Eco-Innovation and FP7 SeaFront. The company is a member of the Astra Zeneca BioVentureHub.