AWARDS 2021 | Best Debris Collection Vessel – Circular Explorer – Holcim
This is a most interesting, innovative and imaginative vessel. While it is certainly not elegant, it should more than adequately perform all the roles listed in its job description, the least of which is image projection.
The simple, all-aluminium catamaran is electric propelled, mainly thanks to a roof comprising solar panels, fuelling electric outboard motors, and proper engineering. A “back-up” generator should be rarely required. It has been deployed to the Philippines, and will start operations in the Manila Bay next month. It should very capably perform its main role of raising awareness of the problem of marine pollution, particularly of plastics.
“The vessel is the first cleaning vessel in the world that can sail without the need for fossil fuels,” Holcim told Baird Maritime. “It is also flexible enough to operate in both inland and coastal waters and pre-sorting of plastic waste can be carried out on board. It also comes with a laboratory for collecting data over a long period of time for aiding in scientific studies.”
The work that went into the vessel involved a number of new technologies, leading to what Holcim claims is a challenge brought about by complexity. However, even with the risk that comes with using new technology, the company said the approach also provided an opportunity.
“Interest in the issue of marine litter is steadily increasing,” added Holcim, remarking on a new noticeable development in 2021. “We need more companies and governments to be involved, and this was already achieved in the past year.”
The company said that if all parties involved are willing to collaborate openly and honestly to find new and effective solutions and get involved in concrete projects, the future will hold more promise.
“Technologies for recycling and preserving the value of plastic litter need to be better developed,” Holcim replied when asked by Baird Maritime about the direction in which the marine pollution cleanup industry is headed. “We need to scale up solutions to collect marine litter and raise awareness on issues such as waste management, waste prevention, and even the concept of circular economy.”