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Mobula 8, The SeaCleaners' multipurpose cleaning boat

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  • Project driver : The SeaCleaners
  • Partners: The Mobula 8 has been developed in partnership with: EFINOR Sea Cleaner, Technip Energies, All Purpose, Institut de Recherche et de Développement (IRD)
  • Project duration : 12 months
  • Cost: The project had an overall cost of 200 000 €, without any external donatione

Genesis of the project

Yvan Bourgnon’s love story with the sea dates back to his earliest childhood. At the age of 8, he sailed around the world with his parents for four years. An adventurer and navigator with multiple records, he has seen the oceans degrade before his eyes, soiled in particular by plastic pollution. During his transatlantic races, he often collided with containers or saw his rudders tangled in drift nets.

The SeaCleaners and its flagship project, the Manta, were born out of the shock Yvan felt when he realized the extent of this pollution in certain regions of the world where he had sailed as a child, particularly in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

But the Manta is far too big for rivers (62 m high, 56 m long, 26 m wide), so the SeaCleaners’ Operations Department decided to develop two clean-up solutions, the Mobula 8 and 10, for calm and protected waters, lake areas, rivers, coastal waters (up to 5 miles from the coast), rivers with strong currents, etc., which will be embarked in the Manta’s hulls.

To date, only the Mobula 8 is built and operational.


Strategy and Objective

The objective of the creation of Mobula 8 is the adaptation and correlation between target areas and the type of boat.

The aim is to increase the efficiency of collection in coastal waters, rivers, mangroves… and all this at the source because plastic there has not yet been degraded.

Collecting macro-waste on rivers is a relevant strategy, as they are easily accessible, in large quantities and this collection is done before their degradation into irrecoverable microplastics.

This type of collection of macro-waste is also less expensive in terms of energy, as the collection is done earlier, closer, more efficiently, and therefore more cost-effectively.

Discover the Mobula 8


Innovative character of the project



The Mobula 8 is capable of cleaning an area of 15,000 m2 per hour and can pick up floating, solid and liquid waste up to 0.4 m deep.

The Mobula 8 is particularly innovative in several aspects:

  1. It is designed for recovery operations even in the most inaccessible places
  2. It can be transported by truck in a container for a drastic reduction of costs and a quick deployment
  3. Its speed of intervention: it goes from navigation mode to depollution mode in less than 3 minutes

Contribution to the circular economy

Another important aspect of the project is its contribution to the circular economy: the collected waste will be transferred to local sorting centers, and partnerships will be established with local recycling associations, thus stimulating the local economy through job creation.

In addition, plastic waste will be either recycled or transformed into energy thanks to low-tech. These local actions of waste recovery will allow the creation of local income and will allow the reintroduction of the produced electricity on the local market.


Results and Perspectives

Short-term benefits

In the short term, many benefits are expected for local communities. Among others, we can mention:

  1. Depollution
  2. Rehabilitation of polluted sites
  3. For coastal sites, a benefit on the visual pollution caused by water pollution

Expected long-term benefits

The Mobula 8 project will only be launched in the fall of 2021, during a mission in Indonesia. Thus, no long-term benefits can yet be observed, but we hope to see:

  1. An increase in marine resources and biodiversity in a sustainable manner.
  2. Restoration of water quality for the benefit of the population.

How could this project be replicated in other rivers?

This project is easily adaptable and therefore could be duplicated on different rivers of the world by building other Mobulas adapted (in terms of size and collection system). Already, its designers plan to deploy it in strategic areas of Asia, Africa or South America where the Mantra will operate.




Learn more

Photo credits : The SeaCleaners

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