Project Ideas

VB Project idea: EcoContainer for the North Sea


The project will:

  • Adapt the IBA container cleaning system on the basis of the previous pilot experiences as well as the opinions received in the Joint Project Development process.
  • Demonstrate the feasibility of the adapted IBA container cleaning system in relation to the diversity of needs identified by container handling organisations during Join Project Development. This will be done in several steps
    1. Adaptation of the transportable IBA-System into an IBA-Container by IBC-Robotics AB.
    2 - 5?. Tranports of the IBA-Container to Beneficiaries who will conduct Demonstration, evaluation, testing of the IBA-system in 3-5 countries.
  • Evaluate the experiences of the project.
  • Disseminate the project results.
  • Be implemented Jointly through a System to be developed during the project application process. 
  • Produce a Final Report according to the rules and recommendations of the North Sea Programme. 

IBC Robotics AB
Backamo 119

459 91

Kjell Tallberg

Tel: +46 735 15 34 66

Central Aim

The specific aim is to stimulate the adoption of a new system for Environmental Container-cleaning. It will reduce the environmental footprint of container-handling in regions around the North Sea. It is a demonstration of a new and improved approach with clear and measurable differences to standard practices.

This contributes to the achievement of the Thematic objective to preserve and protect the environment and to promote resource efficiency. It also addresses the special theme of the programme: transport.

The social economic and environmental problems that this project contributes to solving are highlighted in a multitiude of EU documents. This is an example of an environmentally crosscutting innovation. In particular the problems addressed by this project can be distinguished at five levels:

  • Environmentally harmful chemicals are being used for container cleaning.
  • Containers are not getting cleaned to the suitable extent which results inter alia in an increased risk for spread of invasive species.
  • Energy is needed to heat the water for container cleaning.
  • The working environment for container cleaning is bad for the employees or the contractors.
  • Fresh water is consumed

Envisaged Output

The Envisaged Output of the project is demonstrations of the feasibility of this container cleaning system in multiple operational environments. Stakeholders include:

  • Transport operators
  • Port owners
  • Those who wish to preserve and protect the environment
  • Container cleaning contractors, 
  • Employees of container cleaning operators.

The project will provide container handling organisations with a more environment friendly way to wash containers and also make the working conditions less dangerous for the personnel. The IBA system offers a dry, environment friendly and automated cleaning process making use of a specifically designed industrial robot, vacuum cleaning and ice blasting technology.The full system includes:

  • The robot and its supporting equipment. 
  • An ice blasting machine.
  • Vacuum cleaner equipment built into a standard sized 40-foot container protective shell. 
  • The equipment is placed in a container (the IBA-Container) that is attached to the container to be cleaned. 

The system works as explained below.

  • The IBA-Container is docked to the container to be cleaned
  • The cleaning robot which is running on wheels is introduced through a beam system. 
  • Inside the dirty container, the robot operates and sprays dry ice pellets on all surfaces with great precision managed by an IT software system. When dry ice hits the surface a “micro-explosion” occurs releasing the impurities which then falls to the floor. Using dry ice for cleaning is a completely dry and clean method. What remains after treatment is only the dirt that has been blasted away from the container walls and fallen down to the container floor.
  • The dirt is being sucked up by a vacuum cleaner positioned under the robot and collected in a closed garbage system.

The benefits for the environment and the future users of the IBA-System are to: 

  • Perform Container-cleaning in a closed-circuit system. Organisations that do not operate a closed circuit system can thus avoid other essentail investments to create susch a system.
  • Make it possible to avoid environmentally harmful chemicals for container cleaning.
  • Save fresh water for cleaning;
  • Save the energy needed to heat the water for container cleaning.
  • Avoid manual labour in this working environment.
  • Decrease average clening-drying time from 24 hours to 20 minutes. This also limits the need for space where the containers can dry up.

Partners Found Already

IBC-Robotics AB is the initiator of this project idea. It's HQ is in Stengungsund in Västra Götaland Region in Sweden. This Microcompany owns and develops the IBA-System for ecological container cleaning. It is so small that it would be suitable if another orgnanisation would be the Lead Beneficiary for this project. It expects to need a budget of 400 000 € for its participation in this project. 

The company is new to the Interreg North Sea Programme and only recently found out about the project idea opportunity. Opportunities for partnerships are still being explored.


Partners Sought

IBC-Robotics AB would prefer that a larger organisation assumes the role of Lead Beneficiary. Due to the State Aid rules a public organisation might be prefferable. The project idea and the partnership will be adapted to the interests of the Lead beneficiary. 

We foresee a partnership including if possible a diversity of transport operators, including ports and container cleaning organisations. If a partner includes a good dissemination component, that would be good. 

One or several practical organisations for evaluating the demonstrations are needed.

It would be good to establish a cooperation with an international cooperation organisation for transport opertors. 

Estimated Budget
1,5-3 M €

Thematic Keywords
Container, Sustainable resource use, Take up of new technologies,

Lead Beneficiary


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