AkzoNobel scooped two prestigious honors at the recent ICIS Innovation Awards for the Interline 9001 ultra-performance cargo tank coating supplied through its International brand. As well as being awarded with the overall Innovation Award, Interline 9001 also received the Best Product Innovation Award from ICIS, the trusted information provider for the global chemical and energy industries. The awards recognize the impact the new coating has had on the chemical tanker industry, specifically how it tackles the issue of absorption from aggressive cargoes, such as methanol, acetone and ethylene glycol. These issues can often result in cargo cycling restrictions, increased risk of subsequent contamination and the need for repeated resource and time-intensive washing procedures. “We recognize that cargo tanks are the revenue-earning spaces of a vessel,” said Oscar Wezenbeek, Managing Director of Marine and Protective Coatings at AkzoNobel. “Reduced cargo absorption means less sequencing restrictions and less time required for cleaning which ultimately impact the operators’ profitability. This is why we have invested heavily in tackling the issue of cargo absorption.” He added that Interline 9001 was the result of close engagement with customers and engaging in cutting-edge research at the company’s dedicated tank lining laboratory. “Our detailed knowledge of the most aggressive cargoes, together with our experience in tank coating application, allows us to offer a product that maximizes chemical tanker operational and environmental efficiency.” Interline 9001, with its patented bimodal polymer technology, was developed to break the mould by solving the root cause of the problem – cargo absorption. Due to its near zero cargo absorption, it has resolved most of the past operational challenges, limitations and concerns. Interline 9001 provides up to 90% reduction in cargo restrictions*, up to 70% reduction in cleaning costs and time, and a minimal risk of contamination. The awards from ICIS follow on from the presentation of the Winsemius Award for Sustainability and Innovation to Interline 9001 as well as the Technical Innovation Award from Tanker Shipping and Trade Conference in 2016. This recognized that the coating significantly reduces consumption of cleaning materials disposed to sea and reduces solvent emissions and waste, as well as saving on fuel and emissions by reducing the need to clean tanks with hot water, which consumes fuel and water resources. More than 50 ships have been coated with Interline 9001 over the last three years. The product also helped propel AkzoNobel to the market-leading position in 2015 and 2016, with more than two ships newly coated with its cargo tank coating per month during this period.