An agreement with Trojan Technologies enables Wärtsilä to offer the Canada-based company’s Marinex ballast water management system alongside its own Wärtsilä Hamworthy Aquarius range, introduced to the market last year. The Finnish group now claims to offer the widest range of BWM systems and associated services.
“We recognise that no one solution will be suitable across all ship types, sizes and environmental conditions,” says Dr Joe Thomas, director, ballast water systems, Wärtsilä Environmental Solutions. “By having both the Aquarius and Marinex systems available, we are uniquely placed to deliver BWMs that meet the specific requirements of individual owners and their vessels.”
Wärtsilä Corporation and Trojan Technologies signed an exclusive agreement in 2010 to jointly develop, market and distribute a BWM system. The partners have since worked together on a new ultra-violet (UV) technology-based system. Shipboard trials are expected to be completed in September this year along with Environmental Technology Verification land-based testing in line with US validation requirements.
The Hamworthy Aquarius UV and electro-chlorination (EC) systems came under the Wärtsilä umbrella following the group’s acquisition of UK-based Hamworthy in January this year. Land-based and shipboard trials of the UV system have been completed and the final shipboard tests of the EC system will be finished this summer.
OceanSaver BWT systems are specified by Greek operator Almi Tankers for VLCCs building at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering; the two 320,000 dwt tankers will join the fleet in July 2013 and November 2014. The decision followed an evaluation of the Norwegian supplier’s Mark I and Mark II system technologies and competing solutions.
OceanSaver’s experience from 22 VLCC BWT contracts was cited as a factor by Almi Tankers, whose ABS-class vessels will be equipped with 2 x 3,000 m3/h capacity Mark II type-approved systems. The first installation will be commissioned this year, the second-generation design engineered for reliability, modest maintenance requirements and low power consumption.
• A contract from Saga Shipholding (Norway) calls for the retrofit of complete Optimarin BWT systems to 24 open-hatch bulk carriers operated by the NYK subsidiary. The order took the Norwegian system supplier’s reference list to over 110 ships, including earlier Saga and NYK newbuilding commitments.
Optimarin’s advanced filtration and ultraviolet disinfection systems are integrated in a single compact unit with a small footprint, fostering easier installation and lower power consumption. The BWT system is reportedly capable of handling all sea water salinities and fresh water in accordance with the IMO convention.
A fully back-flushing filter with 40-micron screens results in a pressure drop of less than 0.5 bar, the filtered ballast water then directed to a chamber where ultraviolet lamps deliver UV radiation for 100 per cent disinfection. Fully automatic and self cleaning, the filtration system can remove large sediment particles, zooplankton and phytoplankton under heavy sediment loading conditions.
“We seek robust quality in all aspects of our business and found Optimarin’s BWT technology met our worldwide trading demands,” says Saga’s senior technical manager Eivind Holte. “The automatic backwash solution, monitored by a pressure switch, ensures and maintains filter efficiency. This was an important factor when making our final decision.
“Optimarin’s flexible modular construction means efficient use of space and power and easy integration with ship systems. With crews rotating from vessel to vessel, we felt that one system/one supplier grants the best economy of scale and the safest operation.”
Pal Sanner, chief executive officer of Stavanger-based Optimarin, believes the company is now ‘confidently positioned to handle large contracts and the growth that will inevitably come with the USA forging ahead with its BWT requirements’.
Supporting Optimarin is Goltens Green Technologies (GGT), established in 2010 by shiprepair specialist Goltens as an independent service provider to the BWT market, involved from planning to project execution. Collaboration with Optimarin on the 24 Saga vessel projects will double the Groningen, Holland-based company’s installation reference list to over 44 ships.
Scanning and modelling by GGT with 3D laser technology in preparing BWT system installations has proven very effective, reports Optimarin technical project manager Kim Stian Haugland:
“3D scanning has become very important in initial investigations of ships and installations. More work can be done off the ship, saving time and money and enabling systems to be installed while vessels are in service.”
The results of accurate 3D laser scans are converted into a 3D CAD program, through which various BWT systems can be compared to allow an owner to select the most appropriate solution. Accurate fabrication drawings can also be made and all the components prefabricated. The flexibility to change the design during the process without undertaking a new survey is also facilitated. Another advantage of 3D scanning and modelling is that it can be applied to sisterships, significantly reducing the time taken for multi-installations.
“Anyone can buy the technology but it takes expertise to use it properly,” says GGT business development manager Jurrien Baretta. “We have learned a lot and now have dedicated engineers who know how to use 3D scanning to its full potential.”
Optimarin’s and UV systems in general are effective and simple and have been implemented with good results, she reports, but emphasises that as an independent player in the market it is GGT’s role to scrutinise the suppliers and their technologies. A disadvantage cited for UV systems is that they use more power (and hence fuel) than many other technologies – power that may simply not be available onboard.
An independent role means that GGT has no affiliations with BWT system makers, explains Jurrien Baretta: “Our goal is to be a knowledge resource for shipowners and assist them in upgrading their fleets to meet impending regulations. There is no single solution that is right for every vessel, so we aim to navigate the selection process and find the solution that best fits their ships and operations.”
Among the many variables to consider, she notes, a particular problem is finding a system that works effectively in different oceans with varying degrees of salinity. To resolve ‘an industry-wide lack of experience in this area’, GGT is involved in knowledge-sharing network groups to stay at the forefront of BWT technologies, processes and assembly.
• Six 9,600 teu container ships building at Hyundai Heavy Industries for handover to Hamburg Süd between May 2013 and January 2014 will be equipped with Ocean Protection System (OPS) BWT systems from Mahle Industriefiltration. The German supplier’s OPS 800 system will treat a ballast water flow rate of 800 m3/h in accordance with the applicable IMO D2 standard.
Type approval was secured in April last year for the OPS, which comprises a pre-filtration system, a main filtration system and a low pressure UV irradiation facility for disinfection. The even more stringent USCG standards can also be fulfilled as the results demonstrated in both land and sea trials reportedly fell significantly below the IMO thresholds.
A chemical-free system with low operating costs and the possibility of modularity is appreciated by the industry, says Mahle, which taps the expertise of its Filtration and Water Technologies divisions.
• IMO Final Approval is expected to be granted to DESMI Ocean Guard’s BWT system at the MEPC64 Assembly in October this year. All required land-based and shipboard testing has been completed “with very positive results”, reports the Aalborg-based company which was established in 2009 by the Danish partners AP Møller-Maersk, DESMI and Skjolstrup & Gronborg.
Ocean Guard is claimed to be the only system based on UV treatment to have successfully conducted land-based tests according to IMO requirements in fresh water conditions. Fresh water is a demanding environment for BWT systems for several reasons, explains DESMI Ocean Guard A/S:
• electrolysis-based systems require salt in the water in order to generate chlorine; salt must therefore be added in fresh water ballast or other solutions implemented
• UV-based systems are challenged by the fact that fresh water is often very coloured, which results in the poor ability of UV light to penetrate deeply into the water; DESMI Ocean Guard, however, has shown that this can be effectively handled by carefully selecting the UV lamps and an appropriate UV reactor design
• freshwater organisms are normally ‘softer’ than saltwater organisms, which means they more easily squeeze through the filters used by most system designers; DESMI Ocean Guard has overcome this challenge by using a reportedly unique patent-pending filter concept.
High efficiency, safety and reliability are claimed by the designers for a system capable of complying with the IMO discharge standards, even in the most difficult water qualities found in some of the world’s ports.
Lloyd’s Register gives guidance on exhaust treatment
A new guide from Lloyd’s Register (LR) provides ship operators with an overview of exhaust gas treatment and emerging emission control regulations and offers support in determining cost-effective solutions. LR teams worked closely with industry and tapped project experience in preparing the guidance in Understanding Exhaust Gas Treatment Systems.
Scrubbers are among the exhaust gas treatment system (EGTS) options but are not suitable for all ship types and operators, and the age of the tonnage is also a factor in making commercial decisions.
“The implications of emissions compliance will vary from owner to owner,” explains LR environmental manager Katherine Palmer. “For example, the needs of a Baltic ferry operator are likely to be very different to those of a bulk carrier owner whose ships trade globally.
“For us, it’s not a question of being for or against these treatment systems. It’s all about building understanding of how scrubbers work, when they may be suitable, and providing operators with the information and confidence they need to make investment decisions.”
With new technologies emerging, she adds, offering the right support throughout the decision-making and design processes is critical. The guide provides a picture of the technical realities involved in installing and operating an EGTS, using case studies and in-field examples.
The guide, developed with support from the SEAaT (Shipping Emissions, Abatement and Trading) organisation, is available as a PDF from www.lr.org/eca or as a hard copy from www.webstore.lr.org
• Reducing ship energy consumption is closely linked with emissions compliance, notes LR, which earlier this year introduced its ECA Calculator. This cost-scenario modelling tool is designed to help shipping identify cost-effective routes to emissions compliance.
• Increasing energy prices, a patchwork of emissions regulations and question marks over untested technologies are giving owners a headache when making investment decisions on newbuilding and retrofit projects, says LR.
LR advises that looking at energy management in its entirety will provide immediate and long-term benefits, and using the ISO 50001 energy management standard is a practical first step. Greek tanker owners have been leading the way: Maran Tankers adopted the standard earlier this year and Capital Ship Management has taken the same course, with LR support.
“Fuel prices have been volatile and no one can predict what the future will hold for energy prices,” notes LR’s environmental manager Ms Palmer. “What we can provide is a structure to enable owners to make the most informed investment decisions in a complex regulatory environment and technology evaluations based on different fuel price scenarios.”MP