Hydrex Research Center opened

Hydrex Research Center was founded to actively contribute toward the goal of clean rivers, seas and oceans through research. HRC collects, analyzes and converts information based on true data and provides practical advice to allow companies, NGO’s and governments to make well-informed decisions to reduce their own environmental impact and to improve the quality of the marine environment. Hydrex Research conducts research for Hydrex and Subsea as well as for external organizations and companies.

Subsea Industries launches Ecospeed Ice
Ecospeed Ice Logo

Ecospeed Ice is the proven, ultimate hull protection for icebreakers and ice-going vessels. It is designed and formulated to last the life of the vessel with no need for replacement, requiring only minor touch-ups during routine drydocking. Backed by an unheard-of 10-year warranty, Ecospeed Ice simply stays on the hull no matter the conditions of sea and ice. 

Hydrex celebrates its 45th birthday
45 years of innovation

A series of articles was published in the monthly magazine, looking back at some of the key operations done by Hydrex since 1974.

The official naming ceremony of the RRS Sir David Attenborough takes place

The ceremony took place  at  the  Cammell  Laird Shipyard in Birkenhead, UK. This new polar research ship is designed to keep  Britain  at  the  forefront  of world-leading  scientific  research in Antarctica and the Arctic. RRS Sir David Attenborough has  her hull protected by the same Ecospeed Ice coating  that  has  protected  RRS Ernest Shackleton and RRS James Clark Ross, for many years. The ceremony was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sir David Attenborough.

Ecospeed wins Arctic Innovation Award 2019
Arctic Shipping Award 2019

According to the organizers the panel of independent judges consisting of leading Arctic specialists gave the award to “the company or individual that has developed the most innovative new technology, environmental practice or service to benefit the Arctic region.”

Subsea Industries wins Environmental Protection Award at the 10th IBJ Awards
IBJ Award 2018

On November 19, Subsea Industries won the Environmental Protection Award at the 10th IBJ Awards, held at The Eskimo Factory in Ghent. The award was presented by Ray Girvan, Publisher of International Bulk Journal and Femke Brenninkmeijer, Port of Amsterdam’s Head of Energy, Bulk, Agri, Breakbulk & Offshore.

Hydrex wins Energy Globe Award 2017
Energy Globe 2017

Hydrex won the award for Belgium for its Propeller Buffing technology.

Hydrex office in Rotterdam officially opened
Hydrex workboat in Rotterdam

Although Hydrex had been active in Rotterdam for over 40 years, the growing demand for services in the area instigated the opening of a new office. The purpose of the office was to improve the delivery of Hydrex services and underwater expertise to the maritime industry of Rotterdam.

To enable a fast mobilization throughout the entire Rotterdam port without delaying a ship’s commercials operations, Hydrex dive support vessels are stationed in Rotterdam. These workboats are fully equipped with hydraulic cranes, winches, a dive spread and control room.

Subsea Industries launches Ecolast, UV resistant corrosion protection

Ecolast is UltraViolet (UV) resistant and preserves its color while at the same time offering the corrosion and abrasion protection our coatings are known for. Ecolast is highly resistant against salt, ultraviolet radiation, waves or even ice. Mechanical damage to the coated surface is minimized. This is especially important for (semi-)submerged structures like wind turbines that are located in splash or tidal zones.

Ecospeed wins National Energy Globe Award 2015

On 25 June 2015, two delegates from the Austrian Chamber of Commerce at the Austrian embassy in Brussels, Mrs. Martina Madeo and Mr. Henry Simon, visited Subsea Industries NV in Antwerp to present the company with the National Energy Globe Award for sustainability for 2015.

Further expansion of the Hydrex headquarters
Hydrex offices expansion

September 2015 saw the start of a large expansion of the Hydrex headquarters in Antwerp. This expansion was the logical result of the growth the company had undergone in the preceding years.

Ecolock wins QinetiQ 2014 Maritime Innovation Award

The 2014 Maritime Innovation Award – given jointly by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and technology-based services and solutions provider QinetiQ – was presented to Subsea Industries for the product Ecolock, a special coating for the long-term protection of offshore vessels and structures. 

Ecoshield wins Seatrade 2014 Innovation in Ship Operations Award

The Seatrade 2014 Innovation in Ship Operations Award
was won by Subsea Industries for its breakthrough product Ecoshield, ultimate protection from cavitation
and corrosion/erosion damage for ship hulls, rudders, and ship underwater running gear.

Ecolock long-lasting protection for offshore hulls launched
Ecolock logo

Ecolock is an extremely tough and durable coating designed to remain in excellent condition for 15 - 25 years without drydocking, repair or replacement. Ecolock can be cleaned underwater as often as needed to meet the UWILD and weight requirements of FPSOs, drill ships and other offshore vessels. Ecolock is the result of continual R&D on offshore hull coatings since the 1990s.

Boud Van Rompay panelist on biofouling at World Ocean Council Sustainable Ocean Summit

On April 23 and 24, 2013, Boud Van Rompay delivered a presentation on a non-toxic alternative approach to biofouling management and the elimination of hull-borne invasive aquatic species, sitting on a panel with various US Government officials from the Coast Guards, EPA, Maritime Administration and others. Video of an interview at the Sustainable Ocean Summit in Washington, DC can be seen here.

Ecoshield durable, cavitation-damage-proof rudder protection launched
Ecoshield logo

After more than 10 years of strenuous testing, Subsea Industries launched the ultimate rudder protection coating, Ecoshield, for permanent protection against cavitation damage for rudders. The glassflake reinforced coating protects the rudder for the service life of the ship without need for recoating or major repair and comes with a ten-year guarantee. Ecoshield is also suitable for bulbous bow, stabilizer fins, thruster nozzles and other underwater ship gear which needs special protection from corrosion.

Successful prototyping of a contained dredging system (patented in 2010)
Contained Dredging system

Boud Van Rompay designed, developed and patented a novel, contained dredging system to facilitate fast, economical and safe environmental dredging for sensitive areas and for general dredging. 

Published Surface Treated Composites White Book
White book

The Surface Treated Composites White Book is the culmination of an intense period of research, compilation and writing including a series of 14 Hydrex White Papers and six issues of the Journal of Ship Hull Performance

Ecospeed wins National Energy Globe Award for sustainability
Energy globe 2012

On 30 May 2012 Hydrex was  presented with the National Energy Globe Award for sustainability for 2012. Hydrex won the award for Belgium for its Ecospeed non-toxic hull coating project.

Hydrex flexible mobdock technology wins Ship Repair and Conversion Award at Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2009

The Hydrex lightweight flexible mobdock technology, used for in-situ underwater thruster repairs and replacements, won a prestigious award at the Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2009 ceremony held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

Ecospeed wins Energy Globe Awards presented in European Parliament

Ecospeed was the National winner for Belgium and one of three finalists chosen from more than 850 entries in the “Water” category. Ecospeed was the prominent innovation in the sphere of shipping.

Founded Hydrex Spain
Hydrex Spain

Hydrex established an office in Algeciras, Spain, strategically located to service the high shipping traffic passing through the Straits of Gibraltar into and out of the Mediterranean. The Spanish office included a full diving team, the latest Hydrex equipment and two customized catamaran workboats. 

Hydrex wins Lloyds List SMM Innovation in Naval Shipbuilding and Marine Technology Award

The award was given for Hydrex’s development of the cofferdam principle where it has created a whole new field of operations and methods that save significant amounts of time and money for ships, FPSOs and other vessels when underwater repairs or replacement operations are needed.

Commercial launch of Ecospeed

This year, three years after the final development of Ecospeed, the system was launched commercially. Ecospeed consists of a hard, durable, non-toxic coating along with routine in-water cleaning and conditioning carried out using a large range of underwater cleaning methods and equipment. 

Hydrex wins Seatrade 2002 Innovation in Ship Operations Award

Part of the expansion of the company worldwide was to set up a US headquarters in Tampa Bay, Florida, with rapid access to shipping in the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast of the USA but also serving the rest of the USA, Canada, Mexico and South America. 

Hydrex office established in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
Hydrex LLC

Part of the expansion of the company worldwide was to set up a US headquarters in Tampa Bay, Florida, with rapid access to shipping in the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast of the USA but also serving the rest of the USA, Canada, Mexico and South America. 

First use of large steel cofferdams for thruster change-out and repair
cofferdam thruster repair

In 1996, Hydrex introduced underwater procedures involving the use of large steel cofferdams so as to provide drydock-like conditions for thruster change-out and repair while the ship was still afloat. 

Research begun on developing a new, long-lasting, non-toxic method of protecting ship hulls
Ecospeed logo

Having seen the consequences of using biocidal antifouling paint on ships' hulls, Boud decided that a non-toxic but economically viable system was needed. He decided to research and develop such a method. 

Habitat system for lock door rail repair

In 1991, Boud Van Rompay designed a large habitat system for lock door rail repair. This was then fabricated by Hydrex and a major lock door repair was completed. 

Numerous novel designs and methods of underwater hull cleaning and repairs
Full set and powerpack and umbilical

Boud has continued to develop, evolve and improve the underwater cleaning, maintenance and repair equipment and methods used by Hydrex.

Founded Subsea Cleaning Systems NV, later to become Subsea Industries NV

Subsea Cleaning Systems, later Subsea Industries, was founded specifically to take care of the design, development and marketing of what has become an evolving line of underwater hull and propeller cleaning equipment. However, in cleaning hulls coated with traditional antifouling paints, it soon became clear that a non-toxic hull coating solution was required and Subsea Industries began developing, manufacturing and distributing a line of durable, non-toxic hull coatings. 

Developed the first prefabricated cofferdam, built for fast, permanent, in-water ship hull repair
Lunar Venture 1979

Throughout his career Boud's spirit of investigation, curiosity, ingenuity and inventiveness has let to a string of inventions, developments and patents, all along the lines of achieving the goals he set as an early age. One of the aims of Hydrex is to keep ships in business, avoiding the need to drydock as much as possible where this would cause unnecessary expense and delays. The development of the prefabricated cofferdam was one step in this direction. 

Founded Hydrex

In 1974, Boud founded Hydrex with the goal of achieving “Clean rivers, seas and oceans.” Its purpose was (and still is) to build up maximum expertise with water so as to make it possible to attain this goal. Hydrex comes from hydr- (water) and ex- (expertise). Boud was looking for a life goal that was big enough to be worthwhile. Water is the biggest commodity on the planet. He set a goal for that. It is this goal which has kept Boud going and which sits behind and fuels everything he does.

Began career as a commercial diver

After diving as a (serious) hobby, Boud began to work as a commercial diver in Antwerp, Belgium, carrying out underwater ship repair and maintenance. As a commercial diver, Boud came face to face with the horrific levels of water pollution and sediment contamination created by ships and in particular their antifouling systems which he saw were turning ports into dead zones and creating an unsustainable future for oceans and waterways.

Cave diver, explorer, mountaineer

Boud abandoned his law studies to become a cave explorer, cave diver and mountaineer, making breakthroughs in cave exploration and laying the foundation for a future in underwater technology. 

Born in Belgium

Boud Van Rompay was born in Koningshooikt, a small rural town in the province of Antwerp, Belgium. Boud’s father was a traditional country doctor and came from a family of country doctors.