World’s Largest Shipbuilder Partners on New Solvent-Free Primer

Odd Gleditch Jr., chairman of Jotun (left), shakes the hand of Ka Sam-Hyun, CEO of HHI, during the South Korean president’s state visit to Norway in June 2019. Photo by Emanuele Lombardo, Jotun.

Global marine coatings provider Jotun (Sandefjord, Norway) signed a memorandum of understanding with the world’s largest shipbuilder for a new type of marine paint that reduces solvent emissions by up to 90%.

The memorandum was signed with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) (Ulsan, South Korea), which has 16,000 employees and an order entry of $16 billion in 2018. According to the companies, this is the starting point of a closer cooperation and the use of a new, innovative solvent-free primer.

The signing took place between Odd Gleditch Jr., chairman of Jotun, and Ka Sam-Hyun, CEO of HHI, during the South Korean president’s state visit to Norway in June 2019. Yunmo Song, minister of industry in South Korea, attended the signing ceremony.

“The partnership with Jotun will allow HHI, the world's largest shipbuilder, to be better equipped to meet the new environmental requirements that are aimed at reducing solvent emissions,” Sam-Hyun says.

“We are, of course, very pleased with the agreement with the world's largest shipyard, but even more satisfied that our innovation is contributing to a better environment,” adds Morten Fon, CEO of Jotun.

The coatings provider focuses heavily on research and development of environmentally friendly paints, and the anticorrosive primer reduces total solvent release by 80 to 90%, according to the company, which has worked on developing the new type of marine paint for 13 years.

The product will reduce solvent emissions, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air from approximately 250 g/L to just 9 g/L. According to the manufacturer, shipyards will save hundreds of millions of dollars by avoiding investments in plants related to the combustion of VOCs. VOC combustion also leads to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

“We have conducted research in Korea and in Norway while developing this paint, and after 13 years can conclude that we have succeeded in developing a product that reduces solvent emissions by over 90%,” says Erik Risberg, one of the scientists behind the new paint. “In addition, the product has better corrosion protection than previous systems, which helps extend the life of the vessels and reduces the need for maintenance.”

Primers make up 60 to 70% of the total amount of paint applied to a ship. Risberg has worked in Korea for years, developing the primer in close collaboration with Korean shipyards.

The new product is currently available for Korean shipyards and selected shipbuilders in Europe who have experience applying single-coat primers that require careful application techniques.

Source: Jotun,