I-Tech AB crowned winner of the Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co Companipris 2018

I-Tech AB crowned winner of the Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co Companipris 2018

I-Tech AB has been awarded this year’s Göteborg & Co Companipris for great entrepreneurship and innovation demonstrated in developing and achieving the establishment of the unique antifouling active agent Selektope® in the marine coatings industry.

The prize will be awarded by the Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co and the Chairman of the Municipal Board, Axel Josefson, on April 2 in connection with the Börssällskapet meeting.

I-Tech was founded in 2000 as a spin-off from a research project conducted by the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers. Added into marine paints during the manufacturing process, Selektope prohibits the attachment of barnacles to a ship’s hull by keeping the exposed barnacle larvae in swimming mode due to the activation of the larvae’s octopamine receptor. It is unique in its application in ship biofouling protection as it is the only antifouling substance that has a deterrent effect on barnacles.  

“This year’s winner is a company that has shown great entrepreneurship and innovation. Through their ground-breaking research, they have changed the marine paint industry and are now at the forefront of development. I-Tech has a unique and sustainable product that is world-leading,” says Christian Westerberg, project manager at Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co.

“In a city with many exciting and promising companies, we feel great humility to stand as the winner of the Göteborg Companipris. I-Tech, born from local academic research and largely backed up by local financiers, is in the midst of a global expansion in the Gothenburg significant marine sector. We share the honor with everyone who has participated in our almost 20-year journey,” says Philip Chaabane, CEO of I-Tech.

https://via.tt.se/pressmeddelande/de-vinner-goteborgs-companipris-2018?publisherId=2567142&releaseId=3251825

Facts about the Göteborgs Companipris:

– The Business & Industry Group at Göteborg & Co annually distributes the Göteborgs Companipris to successful companies that are run and developed in the Gothenburg region.

– The prize consists of 25,000 sek and a silver statue.

– Since the Companipris was founded in 1994, the prize has been received to approximately 60 companies.

Trade and Industry Group Göteborg & Co is a platform for collaboration between business, organizations, municipalities and academia that works to strengthen and develop Gothenburg’s competitive and attractive power. Through initiatives and projects, the Enterprise Group stimulates long-term competence provision and inclusion in order to contribute to an attractive, vibrant and sustainable metropolitan area.

Number of ships sailing with Selektope®-powered antifouling coatings set to double in 2019

Number of ships sailing with Selektope®-powered antifouling coatings set to double in 2019

The largest ever single volume order received for the barnacle-repelling antifouling ingredient Selektope® coupled with strong commercial developments in late 2018 will see the number of ships using Selektope®-containing antifouling coatings more than double in 2019.

Placed by one of the industry’s leading marine coating manufacturers Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP) in December 2018, this follow up order fulfils CMP’s previous minimum commitments contained in supply agreements signed in early 2018 ahead of time. The order will be delivered during 2019 for use in CMP’s range of existing coating products containing Selektope® that target both new building and dry-docking demands.

Selektope® is an organic, non-metal compound that works to prevent barnacle fouling by temporarily activating the swimming behavior of barnacle cyprid larvae, making it impossible for them to settle on the hull. The unique antifouling ingredient is characterized by its first-of-its-kind bio-repellent mode of action which has a non-fatal effect on the target organism. It offers paint manufacturers an alternative active agent for antifouling coatings that demonstrates high efficacy at extremely low concentrations, is ultra-low leaching and can deliver superior static performance against hard fouling.

Hundreds of ships have been coated with antifouling paints containing Selektope® since the launch of the technology into the marine market.

“Positive indications of the superior antifouling performance of antifouling coatings including Selektope® on a wide range of ship types is driving the demand for our technology in the market. Performance results continue to demonstrate that Selektope®-powered coatings can save fuel, cut emissions and reduce the risk of transferring invasive aquatic species; for all these reasons, confidence is increasing in our technology as a very attractive investment,” says Philip Chaabane, I-Tech CEO.

In addition to the antifouling coating products offered by CMP, ship owners can also purchase antifouling paints containing Selektope® from other global paint manufacturers.

Selektope Success in 2018: A Review of the Year

Selektope Success in 2018: A Review of the Year

A statement from I-Tech CEO Philip Chaabane:

“As we sail into 2019 I look back at the series of monumental milestones achieved by I-Tech in 2018 and am energised for a prosperous year ahead. 2018 was a big year for I-Tech. We reached the highest highs as a company this year and celebrated the greatest commercial successes for our product, the antifouling ingredient Selektope®.

One of the biggest milestones was the listing of I-Tech shares on Nasdaq First North in May and the company becoming publicly held. We have also welcomed multiple new team members and made strategic acquisitions to strengthen our supply chain in order to upscale Selektope® production for anticipated future demand. 

As a company we continue to push the boundaries of innovation and we are not afraid to challenge the status quo. This year we deployed new packaging for Selektope® that changes the way that biocides are introduced during the paint manufacturing process. Our drop in, dust free expanded polystyrene dissolvable packaging allows paint manufacturers to add Selektope® to their paint in a completely sealed container, severely reducing safety risks – a game-changer for the industry.

Out on the high seas, over 300 ships are sailing with Selektope®-powered antifouling coatings and according to volumes of Selektope® on order from global paint manufacturers for delivery in 2019, the number of ships protected against hard fouling thanks to Selektope® is set to significantly increase next year.

We share details on our achievement highlights in the article below, but I also ask you to ‘watch this space!’ as 2019 will be another exciting year for Selektope® . For now, I’d like to wish all of our customers and ship owners reaping the benefits of Selektope® -powered antifouling coatings much prosperous commercial success in 2019.”

2018 has been a remarkable year for I-Tech AB. We kicked off a series of supply chain-strengthening actions early in the year, the first being the appointment an exclusive importer and agent in South Korea. This action was undertaken in response to high demand for Selektope® from shipyards in the region and many ship owners running the risk of extended idling in the biofouling hotspots around South Korean ship yards and ports.

In March, I-Tech AB announced the strategic acquisition of manufacturing process technology and IP, for the production of medetomidine (the chemical name for Selektope®), from Cambrex Corporation (NYSE: CBM). The transaction consolidated the supply chain and improved our industrial capabilities giving us a unique competitive situation to fuel future growth by supporting our plans to secure superior production capacity and to ensure commercially competitive prices for our customers and deliver high volume demands for Selektope®.

The first quarter of 2018 also yielded success in the application of Selektope® in silicone-epoxy coatings. Whereas silicone-epoxy systems (epoxies are commonly known as ‘hard coatings’) offer abrasion resistance and easy to clean properties, they still have limitations when exposed to sea water at static conditions. Therefore, it was of great importance to I-Tech to support paint manufacturers developing epoxy products that contain Selektope®. American paint specialist Wearlon®, part of Plastic Maritime Corp., and I-Tech conducted trials of a Wearlon® epoxy-silicone product containing Selektope® over a period of 19 months. A successful formulation was achieved and tests concluded that the addition of Selektope® to the Wearlon® epoxy-silicone coating resulted in significantly improved antifouling properties.

May 28 was the date of I-Tech AB’s first official day trading on Nasdaq First North following a previously completed share issue that was oversubscribed. Since listing on the Swedish Stock Exchange the I-Tech share price has increased from the subscription price of 20.5SEK per share to 60.00 SEK per share (at Midday 20/12/2018).

In the same month we became a member of the Clean Shipping Index (CSI) in support of their vision to encourage ‘clean ships sailing in healthy seas’. Through our membership, we have been encouraging environmentally responsible decisions around antifouling coating procurement to users of CSI’s holistic labelling system which ranks the environmental performance of ships. We have also been promoting the benefits of choosing less environmentally impactful antifoulings and educate CSI users on the impact of coating types, such as those containing Selektope®, on the ranking of ships under the labelling system.

In August, we unveiled a game changing packaging solution that challenges the status quo on how biocides are added during the paint manufacturing process. Our ‘drop-in, dust-free’ dissolvable expanded polystyrene (EPS) container packaging system allows paint manufacturers to add Selektope to paint in a sealed container allows for the dust free charging of 100% Selektope® powder material to a liquid paint batch, eliminating dust formation completely. The EPS container t fully dissolves almost instantaneously without leaving any traces in the coating system.

In November, we received very positive results from a tanker that had sailed past milestone in its dry dock schedule with hull inspections confirming a clean, barnacle-free hull resulting from the use of a Selektope®-containing antifouling paint. Team Calypso is a 46,067dwt chemical and products carrier owned and operated by Team Tankers International Ltd. During the past three years, the vessel was in active operation across a wide range of trade routes globally, with more than 50% of its operating time spent in areas of high biofouling with high sea temperatures. The tanker has also encountered several long idling periods of 25 days or more. An underwater hull inspection conducted at month 35 in the tanker’s drydock schedule established that Team Calypso’s hull is completely barnacle free with no soft fouling coverage. Independent third-party data analysis verified total added resistance on Team Calypso’s hull and propeller due to fouling was exceptionally low compared to that expected for an average ship of same age and days out of dry-dock: 12% against up to 30% expected total added resistance. Of that 12%, added resistance on the hull accounted for 8% whereas added resistance on the propeller accounts for 4%. The development rate registered at a low level of approximately 0.4% per month, compared to an expected rate of between 0.5% to 1.5%.

As we sailed towards the end of the year, our customer Chugoku Marine Paints (CMP) confirmed a supply order amounting to 36MSEK. The order represents the largest order of Selektope placed to-date and will be delivered during 2019. This follow-up order fulfils CMP’s previous minimum commitments ahead of time and reflects the increased demand of our barnacle-repellent active agent within the range of marine antifouling products offered by CMP. Since their launch in 2016, CMP’s Selektope®-containing marine coatings SeaFlo Neo CF Premium and SeaGrand Prix 880HS Plus alongside other Selektope®-containing antifoulings offered by other paint manufacturers have gained considerable uptake in the market as they are designed and proven to optimize hull performance over an extensive time in operation and offer superior static protection against hard fouling.

I-Tech also made two appointments to the team this year. Ba-Vu Nguyen assumed the role of Supply Chain and Logistics Manager and Monica Kettelhoit joined the team in the role of Office Manager.

All that is left to say is that, what a year it has been for I-Tech and Selektope® ! We look forward to 2019!

Selektope® inventors develop revolutionary dissolvable biocide packaging system

Selektope® inventors develop revolutionary dissolvable biocide packaging system

I-Tech AB has developed a new ‘drop-in, dust-free’ dissolvable packaging system to enhance the way the antifouling active agent Selektope® is added to marine coatings during the manufacturing process.

The expanded polystyrene (EPS) container, which can be added to paint without being opened, fully dissolves almost instantaneously without leaving any traces in the coating system. This innovative packaging therefore allows for the dust free charging of 100% Selektope® powder material to a liquid paint batch, eliminating dust formation completely. It also allows the paint manufacturer to make optimal use of available Selektope® and improves safety in the paint processing plant.

Each EPS container is supplied within a CurTec HDPE screw lid jar with locking mechanism making it durable with improved impact resistance for transport. The complete EPS container system can hold 300-800g of medetomidine (the chemical name for Selektope®) as a dry powder within a very low weight (18g) EPS container.

The formal launch of the EPS container follows extensive testing with the revolutionary packaging having been qualified for use during the manufacturing process without compromising paint performance.

Philip Chaabane, CEO I-TECH AB, comments: “This latest innovation from I-Tech supports our customers in the safe use of Selektope® and is a game-changer for the addition of biocides during the paint manufacturing process. In recent years, I-Tech has been successful in scaling up the production of its unique technology from quantities measured in kilos to a robust manufacturing platform producing at multiple tons scale. This latest invention supports the increasing uptake of this breakthrough technology in the market.”

Selektope® is the organic, non-metal compound whose efficiency in preventing barnacle fouling has enabled traditional marine coatings suppliers to develop products that deliver superior hard fouling protection, lower water resistance, decreased fuel consumption, and reduced maintenance costs. Characterized by high efficacy at extremely low concentrations (0.1% w/w) with ultra-low leaching, the biocide repels barnacle settlement on ships’ hulls by temporarily stimulating the barnacle larvae’s swimming behavior.

Join I-Tech AB at the SMM Hamburg exhibition between 4-7 September at stand A5.608.

I-Tech sets its sights on large-scale Selektope® production in Europe

I-Tech sets its sights on large-scale Selektope® production in Europe

To satisfy increasing customer demand for antifouling coatings including Selektope® in the marine market, Swedish bio-technology innovator I-Tech AB plans to evaluate an advanced European manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates as its large-scale production partner in Europe.

Within an agreed timetable, I-Tech and its potential manufacturing partner aim to optimize and adapt I-Tech processes for production of Selektope® at scale at an existing plant. The development program is of strategic importance for I-Tech as it supports the company’s long-term aim to continuously strengthen the supply chain and maximize the delivery capability for Selektope®.

Having recently acquired the IPR and technical expertise to undertake the Selektope® synthesis, and appointed a new supply chain and logistics manager the new initiative aims to further strengthen the I-Tech supply chain, and improve the competitive edge in its key markets.

Selektope®, chemically known as medetomidine, is an organic, non-metal compound that is very efficient at preventing barnacle fouling when used in traditional marine coating systems. Characterized by high efficacy at extremely low concentrations (0.1% w/w) with ultra-low leaching, the biocide repels barnacle settlement on ships’ hulls by temporarily stimulating the barnacle larvae’s swimming behavior. Tests have shown that antifouling coatings containing Selektope® offer superior hard fouling protection, resulting in lower water resistance and decreased fuel consumption, in addition to reduced maintenance costs.

Philip Chaabane, CEO I-TECH AB, comments: “In recent years, I-Tech has been successful in scaling up the production of its unique technology from quantities measured in kilos to a robust manufacturing platform producing at multiple tons scale. As customer demand continues to increase, it is important for I-Tech to develop redundancy as well as competitive scale in its manufacturing capability. This evaluation program supports our long-term goals for Selektope® to prosper and meet increasing demand in key markets”

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I-Tech AB Opens First Day of Trading on Nasdaq Stockholm

I-Tech AB Opens First Day of Trading on Nasdaq Stockholm

The CEO of I-Tech AB Philip Chaabane rings the bell to open I-Tech’s first day of trading on Nasdaq First North.

I-Tech recently completed a share issue for listing on Nasdaq First North. The shares will be traded under the ticker ITECH and ISIN code SE0011167725.

I-Tech AB is a public held bio-technology company based in Mölndal, Sweden that owns all IP and regulatory rights to the antifouling agent Selektope® (generic name, medetomidine). I-Tech also controls the largest and most efficient source of medetomidine production.

Since 2006, I-Tech has successfully transformed the scientific invention of Selektope® into a commercially ready and available antifouling agent. I-Tech is not a marine coatings manufacturer, instead we supply Selektope® to marine coatings manufacturers for inclusion in antifouling products.

I-Tech’s quest to find, develop and commercialize a hard fouling prevention technology alternative commenced in the wake the IMO decision to ban the application of tributyltin (TBT)-based paints on vessels as of 1 January 2003. The I-Tech ‘Eureka’ moment yielded an organic, non-metal compound named Selektope®. This innovation milestone for the industry was subsequently followed by 15 years of trials, and exhaustive regulatory hurdles.

The business concept is for Selektope® to take a significant role in vessel performance optimization by offering the technology to the global paint industry as the principal active agent in marine antifouling paints. I-Tech’s vision is to establish Selektope® as the leading alternative biocide to prohibit marine growth in an effective and sustainable way.

For further information, refer to the prospectus that has been prepared in connection with the issue and application for listing. The prospectus is available on I-Tech’s website, www.i-tech.se

Advisor
Erik Penser Bank AB is the Company’s Certified Adviser and has been financial advisor in connection with the listing and the rights issue. MAQS Advokatbyrå has been the Company’s legal adviser in connection with the listing and the rights issue

I-Tech AB becomes Clean Shipping Index member

I-Tech AB becomes Clean Shipping Index member

Selektope® developers I-Tech AB have become members of the non-profit organization Clean Shipping Index (CSI).

Through its membership, I-Tech will encourage environmentally responsible decisions around antifouling coating procurement to users of CSI’s holistic labeling system which ranks the environmental performance of ships. I-Tech will seek to promote the benefits of choosing less environmentally impactful antifoulings and educate CSI users on the impact of coating types, such as those containing Selektope®, on the ranking of ships under the labeling system.

CSI-ranked vessels are eligible for reduced fairway dues from the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) and reduced port fees at the ports of Brofjorden, PetroPort, Gothenburg, Vancouver, Prince Rupert and Gävle. The discount available is dictated by a ship’s CSI ranking. The cleaner the ship, the greater the financial incentive which creates a win-win situation for both the environment and business. For cargo owners and forwarders, the ranking system can also be used to select more sustainable shipping options.

As part of the CSI ranking process, a 25-part questionnaire covering the parameters of SOx, NOx, CO2, chemicals, water & waste and particulate matter is completed for each vessel. Ship owners must declare what type of coating is in situ on their vessel and points are allocated according to the environmental impact, with less environmentally impactful coatings receiving a greater number of points. The number of points received overall from declarations made on the questionnaire determine the vessel ranking and discounts available.

“CSI welcomes I-Tech’s commitment to a clean environment and reduction of the ecological footprint of shipping. We are proud to welcome them onboard as a member,” says Maarten Verdaasdonk, Project Manager of the Clean Shipping Index.

Philip Chaabane, CEO of I-Tech AB says: “I-Tech AB joined the CSI in support of their vision to encourage ‘clean ships sailing in healthy seas’. Our membership of CSI is aligned with our Company’s vision to support the transition to cleaner ships with reduced emissions. We are proud to be part of such an experienced and knowledgeable network in sustainable shipping.”

I-Tech’s unique antifouling technology Selektope® is an organic, non-metal compound that, when added to marine coatings, works to prevent barnacle fouling by temporarily activating the swimming behavior of barnacle cyprid larvae, making it impossible for them to settle on a ship’s hull. Selektope® is effective at extremely low concentrations, reducing the biocidal loading in the coating and resulting in ultra-low leaching into the marine environment. It also offers paint manufacturers the flexibility to boost copper-based paint formulations, either as a means of reducing the amount of copper required or replacing copper completely.

The share issue in I-Tech AB (publ) for listing on First North was over-subscribed

I-Tech announced on May 2, 2018 that the Company has decided to implement the Offering and apply for listing of the Company’s share on Nasdaq First North.

The interest in participating in the Offering has been strong and the share issue was subscribed to approximately 136 percent. The company will receive approximately SEK 38.5 million before issue costs. In the event that the overallotment option of 275,000 shares is fully utilized, the Company will receive a total of SEK 44.1 million before issue costs. The share issue will result in about 650 new shareholders in the Company.

The subscription period expired on Friday, May 18, 2018. The share issue increases the number of shares from 9,777,185 to 11,927,185, provided that the overallotment option of 275,000 shares is fully utilized. The share capital will increase from SEK 19 554 370 to SEK 23 854 370 through the share issue if the overallotment option is fully utilized. The subscription price in the share issue was SEK 20.5 per share.

The share issue comprised approximately SEK 26.7 million of subscription undertakings from a number of institutional and private investors.

The interest in the share issue and the forthcoming listing on First North is positive for I-Tech and strengthens us in our ambition to establish Selektope as the leading option to prevent marine growth in an efficient and sustainable way. We now have the necessary resources to fully implement our growth plan with the ambition to shortly establish I-Tech as a fast-growing and profitable company, “said Philip Chaabane, CEO of I-Tech.

Advisor
Erik Penser Bank is a financial advisor and MAQS Law Firm is a legal adviser in connection with the share issue. Erik Penser Bank is the Company’s Certified Adviser.

I-Tech AB carries out a share issue of MSEK 44.1 ahead of listing on Nasdaq First North

I-Tech AB carries out a share issue of MSEK 44.1 ahead of listing on Nasdaq First North

The Board of I-Tech AB (“I-Tech” or “The Company”) has decided to carry out an equity issue of up to 2 150 000 shares and apply for listing of the Company’s shares on Nasdaq First North.

The subscription price amounts to SEK 20.5, which corresponds to an issue amount of no more than MSEK 44.1 million (“Offer”). Based on the issue price and existing number of shares, the Company is valued at approximately SEK 200.4 million.

In the Offer, a number of institutional and private investors have subscribed for shares totaling MSEK 26.7, corresponding to approximately 60.5 percent of the Offer. The offer includes an overallotment option (“Overdraft Option”) of 275,000 shares that may be exercised in the event of a high interest in the Offer.

I-Tech has developed Selektope®, a substance that counteracts marine growth on ship hulls and other marine installations, for a long time. Selektope® can be integrated in marine coatings and prevent the growth of barnacles, which is a significant problem for shipping. Marine growth on the ship hull results in increased resistance and thus higher fuel consumption.

I-Tech has received the necessary regulatory approvals for Selektope® and has been in the commercialization phase since 2016, where the company has established relationships with all major manufacturers of marine coatings, two of which have launched marine coatings based on Selektope®. In order to enable continued expansion, I-Tech performs a dissemination issue with subsequent listing on Nasdaq First North.

Offer
The offer comprises 1 875 000 shares, corresponding to 16.1 percent of the total number of shares in the company following the Offer. The subscription price in the Offer has been set at SEK 20.5 per share, which corresponds to a company value of approximately SEK 200.4 million before the Offer.

In order to allow a possible overallotment in connection with the Offer, at the request of Erik Penser Bank, the Company has undertaken to issue no more than 275,000 shares, representing at most about 12.8 percent of the total number of shares included in the Offer.

If the overallotment option is fully utilized, the Offer comprises a total of 2 150 000 shares, corresponding to approximately 18.0 percent of the total number of shares in the Company after the Offer. The offer amounts to MSEK 38.4, excluding the overallotment Option and MSEK 44.1 if the Overdelivery option is fully utilized.

In the offer, a number of institutional and private investors have undertaken to subscribe for a total of 1,300,000 shares equivalent to approximately MSEK 26,7. Investors who have subscribed for include Unionen MSEK 9.2, Göran Källebo MSEK 3.6, Zonda Partners MSEK 2.0, Chirp MSEK 2.0, Akilakonsulting MSEK 1.7, Customers to Erik Penser Bank MSEK 8.0.

I-Tech has applied for admission to trading of the Company’s share on Nasdaq First North and the first day of trading is 28 May 2018. A prospectus with full terms is available at i-tech.se.

Preliminary schedule
Subscription time: 3-18 May 2018
Publication of outcome: May 22, 2018
Preliminary first day of trading: May 28, 2018

Background and Reason
I-Tech has developed Selektope®, a substance to prevent marine growth that is a problem that affects ship hulls by contributing to increased water resistance and therefore higher fuel consumption. International shipping, which handles around 90% of global trade, faces major challenges in terms of energy efficiency and environmental impact reduction. With the introduction of Selektope®, new opportunities are given to counteract marine growth on the hull but also to reduce the amount of active substances in the coatings, whose share of total weight can reach well over 50 percent. Selektope® is effective in concentrations of 0.1 percent, giving new opportunities to meet the demands for increased performance.

I-Tech sees good opportunities to establish Selektope® as the leading alternative to prevent marine growth in an efficient and sustainable way. Furthermore, the Company sees opportunities to broaden the use of Selektope® to other areas in addition to ocean-going vessels such as offshore, pleasure boats, fish farming and other marine installations. In order to take advantage of the growth opportunities available, the company needs to invest additional resources in marketing, production scale-up and development related to new applications for Selektope®.

Comment from I-Tech’s CEO, Philip Chaabane

I-Tech has taken important steps in recent years from a development phase to full commercialization of Selektope®. Since the first Selektope®-based marine coating was launched by Chugoku Marine Paints by the end of 2015, we have noted increasing interest in our technology from both paint manufacturers and shipowners. So far, two of the world’s largest manufacturers of marine coatings have launched six products based on Selektope®. In the future, we expect additional product launches from both our two existing customers and additional players. Selektope® potentially means a paradigm shift in marine coatings, where we provide solutions that are more effective than today’s alternatives and also environmentally sustainable. We estimate that the strong interest for Selektope® will result in significant volume increases going forward and thereby establish I-Tech as a company with strong and sustainable growth and increasing profitability.

Prospectus and application forms
Prospectus with full terms and instructions and application forms are available on the Company’s website (i-tech.se) and on Erik Penser Bank’s website (www.penser.se). Printed prospectus can be ordered free of charge via e-mail; emission@penser.se

Investor presentations
In connection with the Offer, the Company will present on the following occasions:
• Aktiespararna (swedish shareholders association), shareholders meeting in Stockholm, May 2 at 16.30
• Aktiespararna (swedish shareholders association), shareholders meeting in Gothenburg, May 8 at 10.50
• Company presentation at Erik Penser Bank in Stockholm, May 14 at 6 pm
• Company presention, Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg, May 15 at 6pm
Registration for presentations at Erik Penser Bank is available at seminarium@penser.se
Registration for the presentation at Clarion Hotel on May 15 is made to nina.carlen@i-tech.se

Advisor
Erik Penser Bank AB is financial advisor and MAQS Law Firm is a legal advisor in connection with the Offer. Erik Penser Bank AB is the Company’s Certified Adviser.

New application success for Selektope® in silicone-epoxy coatings

New application success for Selektope® in silicone-epoxy coatings

The development of two-part epoxy resin coatings that harness antifouling properties is gaining importance as biofouling challenges increase across the global maritime fleet.

Advances made in epoxies – commonly known as ‘hard coatings’ – are increasingly satisfying the need to offer antifouling protection for hard structures in sea water conditions and vessels operating in harsh environments, in ways that satisfy commercial demands as well as applicable environmental standards.

In the wake of the tri-butyl-tin ban, easy-release or ‘foul release’ coatings based on silicone elastomers have been widely used to offer protection against biofouling build-up on ships’ wetted hard surfaces. While proving successful in commercial and military applications where abrasion is often not an issue, these coatings have proved to be too soft for harsh conditions. At the same time, emissions regulations and the need to optimize hull performance to cut fuel bills mean the twice-yearly hull cleaning is now commonplace to reduce the drag caused by fouling.

However, coating systems such as silicone, traditional self-polishing coating (SPC) and other coating types may be damaged each time the hull is cleaned, thus reducing their total service life. An ideal solution would be to develop coatings that offer antifouling protection but that can also survive and function well in abrasive circumstances and in harsh environments.

American paint specialist Wearlon®, part of Plastic Maritime Corp., and I-Tech AB of Sweden have recently been conducting work on the development of an epoxy-silicone coating with antifouling properties through the addition of the unique, bio-repellent active agent Selektope® with one of the Wearlon® silicone-epoxy coatings. Trials, carried out over a period of 19 months, indicate that a commercially-viable ‘hard’ coating that also offers superior antifouling performance is within reach.

Selektope®, chemically known as medetomidine and registered by I-Tech AB (Interphase Technologies), is an organic, non-metal compound that is usually used in SPC systems. It is very efficient at preventing barnacle fouling when included in marine coating systems used to paint and protect ocean going vessels, particularly during extended idle times and at elevated water temperatures. Its first-of-its kind mode of action prevents barnacle fouling by temporarily hyper-activating the swimming behaviour of barnacle cyprid larvae, making it impossible for them to settle on a wetted hard surface. It is characterized by high efficacy at extremely low concentrations (0.1-0.3% w/w) and its ultra-low leaching offers paint manufacturers the flexibility to boost copper-based paint formulations or replace copper completely.

Whereas silicone-epoxy systems offer abrasion resistance and easy to clean properties, they still have limitations when exposed to sea water at static conditions. The addition of Selektope® enables highly innovative coating systems to be developed and, as such Wearlon® has trialled the inclusion of Selektope® in its Wearlon® Super F-3M range to develop an abrasion-resistant coating with boosted antifouling properties. The coating is expected to be particularly effective in areas where high-wear strength is required such as around propellers, and for use on off shore equipment.

Wearlon® Super F-3M is a water-based silicone-epoxy coating. The mole % of silicone to epoxy is varied and coupled with surfactant and filler selection to obtain properties that are unique for a variety of applications. Wearlon® Super F-3M is one of the most hydrophobic of all the Wearlon® coatings, having a low surface tension when in contact with water, resulting in drag reduction. Because of its excellent abrasion and corrosion resistance it is being used in a variety of marine applications including zebra mussel control.

The trialing of the Wearlon® epoxy-silicone product containing Selektope® was conducted at I-Tech’s test facility on the west coast of Sweden over a period of 19 months. A successful formulation was achieved through the addition of a 1-metoxy-2-propanol solution of Selektope® to component B of the two-component system of Wearlon® Super F-3M. Traditionally, when formulating rosin gum-based or acrylic-based antifouling paints, Selektope® is always best added to the paint as a solution. To add it to the formulation, it should be dissolved in an appropriate solvent before adding pigments, metal oxides (e.g. ZnO), fillers, binders and other additives. Test panels were coated with two layers of the test product by a roller. For the formulations that underwent panel testing, a concentration of 0.3% Selektope® w/w of the final wet paint mixture was used to ensure the steady release of the biocide.

Developing an epoxy coating that was inclusive of Selektope® has been key to producing a more impact-resistant, yet flexible and low abrasive epoxy silicone coating system that shows excellent antifouling performance. The trials of the Wearlon® Super F-3M range product with Selektope® included concluded that the addition of Selektope® to the Wearlon® epoxy-silicone coating resulted in significantly improved antifouling properties when exposed to raft tests in sea water.

In the future, the partners are convinced that epoxy-silicone coating technology will achieve wider acceptance on ocean going vessels due to Selektope®-empowered antifouling performance.

Authors: Dan Isaksson (I-Tech AB), Catherine Austin (I-Tech AB), Oliver Weigenand (I-Tech AB), John Smith (Wearlon).

Image 1: Test panels mounted on a frame, submerged in the month of April

Image 2: Test panels after seven months – the three F3M + 0.3% Selektope are evident with little biofouling