The Ocean Cleanup Unveils River Vessel

Published Nov 6, 2019 7:19 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Ocean Cleanup aims to tackle the 1,000 most polluting rivers, responsible for about 80 percent of ocean plastic pollution before the end of 2025, and the organization has unveiled the Interceptor to do so.

The Interceptor is claimed to be the first scalable solution to intercept river plastic pollution and can be deployed around the world. It is capable of extracting 50,000kg of trash per day – up to 100,000kg per day under optimized conditions. 

The Interceptor is 100 percent solar-powered with onboard lithium-ion batteries that enable it to operate day and night without any noise or exhaust fumes. The system is anchored to the riverbed to utilize the natural flow of the river to catch the plastic and is designed for 24/7 autonomous operation. Its floating barrier, which is used to direct the garbage into the system, only spans part of the river, so it will not interfere with other vessels and does not harm the safety, nor impede the movement of wildlife. An internet-connected onboard computer monitors the system’s performance, energy usage and component health.

Under development since 2015, the Interceptor complements the organization's founding mission of ridding the world’s oceans of plastic.

“To truly rid the oceans of plastic, we need to both clean up the legacy and close the tap, preventing more plastic from reaching the oceans in the first place. Combining our ocean cleanup technology with the Interceptor, the solutions now exist to address both sides of the equation,” said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO.

Four Interceptors have been built to-date; two systems are already operational in Jakarta (Indonesia) and Klang (Malaysia). A third system is in Vietnam to be installed in Can Tho in the Mekong Delta (Vietnam), while the fourth is destined to be deployed in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). 

In addition to these locations, Thailand has signed up to deploy an Interceptor near Bangkok, and further agreements are nearing completion including one in LA County in the U.S.