Every year, millions of tons of plastic pour into the oceans, the majority arriving from rivers. If no action is taken, this ocean plastic will impact our ecosystems, our health, and our economies. Fortunately, such progressive companies as the Tincasur and Ocean Cleaner Technology consortium in Spain are introducing effective real-life solutions that help turn the toxic tide. Their identical catamarans Mar Canario and Isla de la Graciosa, with patented Ocean Cleaner Technology, recover ocean waste for recycling while restoring beaches and coastlines to their natural health.
“We wanted to build a vessel that contributes to a circular economy and offers a great return on investment,” explains Salvador Duran Perrez, commercial manager of Tincasur Sur in Cadiz, Spain. “The design of the Mar Canario and Isla de la Graciosa with the Ocean Cleaner Technology was well received and passed the demanding tests of the European Commission with excellent scores in all categories.”
Simplicity, versatility — and technology
Both catamarans are in the service of the Canary Islands Government. The 11.65-meter (38-foot) aluminum vessels were built for simplicity and versatility and are capable of recovering 15 metric tons (16.5 U.S. tons) of waste per hour.
The OC-Tech system enables them to recover and store pollutants and floating marine litter up to 32 kilometers (20 miles) off the coast, on waves of up to one meter (3.3 feet) high. The OC-Tech system is easy to use and requires less training and crew than other ocean-cleaning technologies on the market.
The catamarans’ capabilities do not end there. The vessels are also fully equipped to carry out R&D projects and environmental studies and perform more mundane tasks, such as on-deck transport of pallet cargo or serving as a loading platform for maritime works. The deck has the capacity to store 12 U.S. standard-size pallets and accommodate 12 crew.
Marine power, efficiency, and reliability
The vessels’ John Deere PowerTech™ 4045TFM50 marine engines each drive a 558-millimeter (22-inch) diameter propeller through a ZF 45-1 gearbox with a ratio of 2.5:1. Perez’s key requirements for the engines were fuel efficiency and great response — for all applications.
Gonzalo Lopez de Eguilior, marine sales manager at John Deerre engine distributor Transdiesel S.Ll., explains: “The working environment and the application required simplicity, so we recommended twin 112-kW (150-hp) 4045TFM50 industrial mechanical engines. This engine is reliable and robust and offers a favorable total cost of ownership. It has proven itself in the agricultural sector and is extremely suitable for marine applications, especially for vessels as versatile as Mar Canario and Isla de la Graciosa.”
Perez immediately clicked with Lopez de Eguilior. “His support was excellent from the first meeting through to installation and testing. Mr. Lopez de Eguilior came to our facilities to fully understand how the OC-Tech worked and what engine would be the best fit. We were impressed with his commitment!”
Ocean-cleaning technologies bring a promising future
Mar Canario is one of three ocean litter recovery and surveillance catamarans already built with ocean-cleaning technologies. The expectation is that in just a few years, there will be more than 30 ocean-cleaning catamarans roaming the waters of Europe.
Perez was pleased to apply his company’s 30 years of experience in the naval and industrial sectors to develop a much-needed innovation. “Building OC-Tech recovery and surveillance vessels will be our only focus for the next few years. Of course, we look forward to a continued relationship with Transdiesel and John Deere,” he concludes.
The design of the Mar Canario and Isla de la Graciosa with the Ocean Cleaner Technology was well received and passed the demanding tests of the European commission with excellent scores in all categories.