The latest technology, finance and approval news from the ballast water management sector
Hyde Marine has made changes to its GUARDIAN ballast water treatment system, as senior market manager Mark Riggio explains: “Although we had to increase our power, this was at a lower level than most of our competitors as we previously realised power is an issue for container ships because of high reefer loading. During ballasting, you are onloading or offloading containers and usually load reefers first; so there are very high power loads as hundreds of reefer containers are being plugged in. We wanted to address that through the lowest possible power increase. We spent a lot of time coupling our power increase with a change in design philosophy.”
This is where, he says, the system is revolutionary. “Most UV systems use a minimum intensity level. We took a different approach; we slow down the flow rate through the UV chamber, so when the water condition is poor or low, instead of being stuck we allow you to improve the amount of time organisms are exposed to UV light. It is an elegant solution. Our system allows treatment to work in murkier waters as now, no matter what happens, we know how much flow to put through for any water condition, so that without the ship doing anything the flow gets immediately poised at the maximum flow the system can achieve to meet treatment goals.”
He sums up: “That is the biggest thing we have done. We were late to the game because of it, but we feel very strongly that as owners realise they cannot use their ballast solution at certain times, that is a huge problem and that is what we wanted to solve.” The GUARDIAN ballast water treatment system was granted USCG type-approval in May 2020.
South Korean BWMS supplier Techcross had a different sort of “revolution” when it chose to purchase patents on how its BWMS was installed. The patents cover the comprehensive installation solution which handles the installation location of direct/indirect electrolysis equipment and pipe structures of UV and electrolysis equipment. The solution is said to be unique because the BWMS can be installed near the bridge towards the aft of a ship, allowing effective use of space in the ship. According to Techcross, the ship structures or hull shapes do not need to be modified to install BWMS when using this solution. This also means the BWMS can be easily installed on new and existing ships alike.
Techcross reports that the transfer of rights will be completed by the beginning of June 2020. The patent is recognised in four major shipbuilding countries: South Korea; China; Indonesia; and the Philippines.
As of 2020, Techcross holds 115 patents and utility models regarding BWMS, related technologies and installation solutions. Acquiring the patents comes at a time of growing investment by Techcross, including what it claims to be the largest manufacturing factory in the industry, a training centre, and an extensive global network.
In 2019, Techcross had sales of US$152M, a growth of 230% on the previous year. Techcross began 2020, by agreeing its largest ECS ballast water treatment system installation contract to date. This contract designates Techcross ECS as the BWMS that will be installed on South Korea’s largest semi-submersible heavy transport vessel owned by Megaline, a major South Korean heavy cargo freight company. The 41,000-dwt vessel will require eight Techcross ECS sets of 3,000 tonnes capacity. Six sets of the Techcross ECS 3000 model will be installed simultaneously to conduct ballasting and de-ballasting. Things only got better for Techcross as Coast Guard Marine Safety Centre issued its 32nd US Coast Guard (USCG) Ballast Water Management System type-approval certificate to the company after a detailed review of the manufacturer’s type-approval application determined the system met the requirements of 46 CFR 162.060.
Another South Korean BWMS manufacturer, Panasia, was issued with the 27th USCG ballast water management system type-approval certificate. The treatment principle of the GloEn Patrol 2.0 BWMS consists of filtration with UV treatment during uptake and discharge. This approval covers models with maximum treatment-rated capacities between 50 m3 per hour and 6,000 m3 per hour. The previous model of the GloEn-Patrol had been approved on certificate 162.060/14/0. The new certificate specified that it applies to the GloEn Patrol BWMS, and this new certificate (162.060/27/0) applies to only the GloEn Patrol 2.0.
Another ballast water treatment system that underwent modification and re-submission for USCG type-approval was ERMA FIRST, which obtained a new USCG type-approval for using Hydac filters in its ballast water treatment systems. ERMA FIRST originally obtained USCG type-approval in October 2017. Each time a component is changed on a USCG type-approved BWTS, a new type-approval must be obtained.
The new type-approval brings the number of filters having USCG type-approval to three for ERMA FIRST models 75 to 3000. The three available filter options are Filtersafe, Filtrex and Hydac.
Lloyd’s Register (LR) was the Independent Laboratory (IL) that conducted the testing. The Hydac filter configuration passed all three salinities’ tests.
ERMA FIRST managing director Konstantinos Stampedakis commented: “Filtration is a necessary treatment stage which ensures environmental compliance despite the water quality and significantly reduces the wear and tear of the essential parts of the system. We are glad we will be in a position to further expand our production capacity so as to cover the market’s needs.”
Another landmark event in the last 12 months was the granting of a type-approval certificate for Alfa Laval’s PureBallast 3 ballast water treatment system by the China Classification Society on 17 January 2020. This means the Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 has become one of the first non-Chinese ballast water treatment solutions to be type-approved by the China Classification Society, allowing PureBallast 3 systems to be installed on vessels that carry the Chinese flag.
Alfa Laval head of PureBallast and managing director of AlfaWall, Peter Sahlén, said: “Now that PureBallast 3 has Chinese type-approval, we can support all shipowners who build or sail under the Chinese flag. There are many who see the benefits of a strong international partner in ballast water treatment – one with proven UV technology that can handle large ballast water flows, but also one with global service and support.”
For Alfa Laval, obtaining Chinese type-approval is an important step that reflects the company’s lasting commitment to the Chinese market.
“Alfa Laval has had dedicated ballast water treatment resources in China since the signing of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention,” said Mr Sahlén.
“In fact, the majority of our dedicated service engineers are stationed in China, where they are well positioned to support Chinese and foreign customers with the commissioning and service of PureBallast systems. From shipbuilding to the delivery of goods worldwide, China is key to the marine industry. We look forward to deepening our co-operation with Chinese customers and will be proud to see PureBallast 3 systems sail under the Chinese flag.”
Meanwhile, Norwegian BWMS supplier Optimarin took a different route to innovation by offering what it believes is the first leasing option within the ballast water treatment segment. Optimarin’s innovation of offering leasing as an alternative to outright purchase of a ballast water management system has been conceived to meet market demand from owners and operators, helping them meet regulatory requirements without large capex outlays.
Optimarin executive vice president Tore Andersen said: “The need to comply with IMO and USCG regulations is not going away. Mandated vessels must have the required ballast water treatment systems to operate, today, tomorrow, and far into the future. At the same time shipowners, many of whom were already facing challenging markets, have been plunged into economic uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic and the impact on every link within the shipping value chain. The future is unknown and demand is highly unpredictable, and that, understandably, makes it increasingly difficult to invest in new systems and technology. This creates a real danger of owners delaying decisions and eventually facing non-compliance, heavy fines, and disrupted operations. That’s the last thing they need.”
Optimarin believes it has the solution to this dilemma. The firm, which currently has around 600 units installed, 40% of which are retrofits, has partnered with a UK-based finance company to offer customers the chance to improve their cash flow by splitting payments into small, manageable monthly amounts.
No payment or deposit is required up front and all servicing and spare parts can be included in a comprehensive package.
Damen has developed explosion-certified deckhouses for ballast water treatment systems that can withstand wave slamming. The deckhouses can be placed on the open deck of a tanker vessel. Damen has developed a deckhouse with an 8-mm wall thickness that is able to withstand wave slamming forces. The new deckhouse design fully meets the requirements of the classification societies.
Each Damen deckhouse is delivered as a pre-assembled solution, including the ballast water treatment system with all internal piping and wiring, for easy integration into the vessel. If needed, a booster pump unit can be integrated to ensure sufficient pressure without modifications to the existing ballast pumping system.
The explosion-approved UV reactor, filter and CIP unit are contained within the deckhouse, as is the optional booster pump unit. The lamp drive cabinet, control cabinet and optional booster pump VFD are installed outside the deckhouse and within the vessel’s safe zone.
Damen built these deckhouses for tankers with 1,000, 1,500, 2,000 m3 per hour ballast water treatment systems. The deckhouses are constructed at the Damen yards in Europe and China.