VIKING's firefighting system secured first major order from Asian shipowner

A fleetwide order from Pacific International Lines (PIL) represents significant acknowledgement of the effectiveness of the HydroPen™ container firefighting solution.

VIKING's firefighting system secured first major order from Asian shipowner
Photo: PIL

HydroPenTM, the unique VIKING Life-Saving Equipment container firefighting system, has secured a first major order from an Asian shipowner, in a deal that also demonstrates that the technique is highly adaptable for all sizes of container vessels.

Singapore-based PIL, the largest container carrier in Southeast Asia, is committing its entire container ship fleet of around 100 vessels to carrying HydroPen™ systems.

Conventional container firefighting equipment dowses the box exterior and has been increasingly ineffective in an industry experiencing nine major container ship fires in 2019, and 10 incidents in 2020*. The TT Club estimates that a container fire occurs on average once every 60 days. While the International Union of Marine Insurance has called for design and firefighting equipment improvements for Ultra Large Container Vessels, 2021 incidents off Malaysia and Sri Lanka have highlighted that container fires can also devastate smaller ships.

Attached to a ship's hose and raised on a telescopic arm by a single crew member, HydroPen's  'drill and spray' nozzle is powered by water pressure alone to drill through the container door, then switches to spray mode to extinguish a fire with water, foam or C02. The system can be deployed to fight container fires in the hold, as well as above deck.

Goh Chung Hun, General Manager, Fleet Division, PIL, said:

"With focus on our people, PIL is committed to seeking out new technologies and solutions which enhance the safety and security of our seafarers and our vessels. HydroPen has provided a breakthrough in fire safety for large containerships; its user-friendliness in testing convinced us that it is a powerful safety tool for our fleet of container ships of varying sizes. As the HydroPen™ system is able to meet our stringent safety standards, we are delighted to introduce HydroPen fleetwide."

Deliveries are underway for the phase-in, with crews provided with VIKING training materials and a dummy nylon-tipped drill attachment to test procedures. Lasse Boesen, Senior Product Manager, VIKING, says:

"We have supported HydroPen™ since its inception, introducing it to market as exclusive distributor in 2019 before purchasing the technology outright earlier this year. We were always convinced we had a hit on our hands and ULCV orders confirmed that. PIL's commitment sees the solution establishing itself as the new standard for container firefighting, with equipment supplied the same for all ship capacities."