Major ballast water treatment system manufacturers reveal new solutions and features that will positively impact the container market
Hyde Marine has made changes to its GUARDIAN ballast water treatment system which its senior market manager Mark Riggio describes as “truly revolutionary”.
The company changed its system in order to acquire US Coast Guard (USCG) type-approval.
Mr Riggio explains “We had to increase the power. We did that as beneficially as possible because before that we were the leader in power. 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.” Mr Riggio describes it as “we allow you to move your reading chair close to the light” versus the traditional method of it simply being “bright or not bright enough”.
Explaining how, he says “We do that by slowing 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 updated treatment system is still under review with the USCG after being submitted in December and Hyde Marine expects the approval to be granted in Q1 or Q2 2020.
He says the company’s current systems being used by ship operators have a “defined upgrade path” so can be retrofitted.
Speaking about the container ship market, he says “We have not been as successful as I would have liked us to be, but it is an important market for us. Unfortunately, Hyde Marine struggled in Asia’s newbuilding market as so many Asian shipyards would rather use Asian manufacturers.” The company has carried out around 20 container ship installations. Mr Riggio says “We expect to see a significant impact on the container market with the technology we are bringing to the market.”
There are two other aspects, apart from the ability to regulate flow, that Mr Riggio feels will make the updated system revolutionary. The first is the ability to remotely access the system. Mr Riggio says “We have built and designed a completely automated and remote interface for the system. We can remotely operate and troubleshoot the system and also provide monthly and quarterly updates so owners know how much it is operating, and if they are running low on anything. We can troubleshoot while the vessel is underway so we can arrive at port with the parts they need. That is a really important aspect of what we are doing as it creates the ability to react to issues before the vessel comes into port.”
The second aspect is ease of use. “We want ballast water treatment systems to be no more difficult to operate than the ballast pump itself.
“We have redesigned the user interface to be much more intuitive. Everything is resident in the software, so no valves are needed to be independently operated – crew push the button and walk away and when it is finished, they press stop.”
Mr Riggio sums up “I honestly think it will change the market for everyone. We are bringing a product that works where you are.”
Trojan Marinex is targeting the container feeder vessel market in Europe. Trojan Marinex product specialist Andrew Daley says “This market in particular is very important to us. The retrofit market is really starting to move forward in this sector. These are vessels that are five to 10 years old, that did not consider ballast water systems at the time. Now they need something small that fits with the existing power infrastructure of the vessel. The Trojan Marinex BWTS meets these needs very well. The Marinex system has a small footprint and very low power requirements, allowing it to fit into the vessel’s existing infrastructure. This is a very important factor for many owners.”
He adds “We are an extremely low power consumer, this is an important consideration for an owner with the higher price of fuel – they do not want to bring on another genset.”
Trojan has two important new launches that help further ease retrofits and free up space. In late 2019, Trojan’s Inline Lamp Driver was approved for hazardous zones. “Conventional UV requires large electrical cabinets with purge and pressure systems. These are demanding on the vessel’s infrastructure. With the InLine Lamp Driver, this requirement is eliminated,” says Mr Daley.
Improvements into the company’s product suite continue into 2020 as it is launching a single control and power cabinet. Mr Daley explains “This further supports simple installation and reduces the complexity with electrical interconnections.”
Ballast water and Zim
Atlantium’s first Purestream ballast water management system (BWMS) was installed on board a 3,854-TEU container vessel — Zim Qingdao — and is in the shipboard testing phase to acquire IMO and USCG type-approval withLloyd’s Register as the independent laboratory and Niva as the test facility.
Atlantium Technologies chief technical officer Ytzhak Rozenberg says “The installation of the Purestream BWMS system was completed while the vessel was in voyage in lieu of drydocking; this eliminated the need for downtime. The easy to operate system has minimal to no interference with the vessel’s normal operation.
“Initial shipboard testing results have shown little to no organisms in the discharge water, indicating a robust Purestream system design that has easily integrated into the vessel and its unique ballast water system while providing treatment to meet the IMO BWMS Code and the USCG Ballast Water Discharge Standard.”
Based on the initial success of the shipboard testing, ZIM has ordered another system for an additional vessel. Atlantium will provide another turnkey project. The Purestream complete solution is inclusive of 3D and engineering services, documentation generation for class approval, manufacturing of all piping, platforms and support, wiring, adding indicators to the existing valves to record any bypass, and complete system installation, integration and commissioning.
Mr Rozenberg singles out that this is important because it allows Atlantium to be a single point of contact for the ballast solution and minimises the owner’s risk of not meeting the biological acceptance test.
Purestream is an advanced UV ballast water management technology that is a non-chemical, environmentally friendly solution based on a 20-micron screen filter and a proprietary medium pressure UV system. Purestream systems are designed to treat 100–1,500 m3/h of fresh, brackish or seawater and are validated to operate at minimum retention times (≤ 24 hours) following treatment of 100% of the maximum flow under difficult water conditions with UV transmittance as low as 40% UVT.
Speaking about container market challenges and considerations, Mr Rozenberg says “Container vessels are challenged with short retention times, frequent ballasting and deballasting, and varying water quality since some of the harbours contain very bad water. Atlantium’s Purestream BWMS is designed to limit the operational restrictions of the ballast process by enabling the treatment of the worst water conditions with minimal to no retention time restrictions. This is accomplished using a unique approach to fully automate control, minimising restrictions on the flow and enhancing the filter backwash mechanisms to prevent filter clogging.
Elsewhere, among several targeted market segments, BIO-UV Group is busy within the container ship market providing its solution across a range of newbuilds and retrofits. One of its major clients, for newbuilds and retrofits, is CMA CGM, where it is providing ballast water treatment systems for the French carrier’s 22,000-TEU LNG dual-fuelled newbuilds.
BIO-UV Group business director Xavier Deval says, “Our systems are interesting for container ships because this flowrate market segment perfectly suits our UV technology. Also, the main focus of container ships at port is to carry out operations, loading and unloading containers. Crew do not want to have problems with the ballast water treatment system, they want to have transparency, reliability and a peace-of-mind system. As our system is integrated into the ships operations, the automation system it is very easy to operate. Maintenance is also simple, there are no large parts to change, the opex is limited, it is a chemical-free solution with a competitive capex.”
Low sulphur cap impact
Commenting on current industry issues, Mr Deval highlights the impact of the 2020 low sulphur cap. “Supply of ballast water solutions has been affected by the fitting of scrubbers in 2019 and 2020. Some shipowners are using drydock to install both scrubber and ballast water treatment systems at the same time and some of them are more reluctant about the investment [for a ballast treatment system] due to scrubbers. But one way or another, they cover ballast water.”
Singling out the issues of bottlenecks in the shipyard due to scrubber retrofit work, he says “It is a concern for the owner and yard. We ask shipowners to confirm their needs with makers to be sure systems will be delivered on time allowing smooth installation and operation. Anticipation is a key word and we are working on inventory to have units ready for departure.”
In January 2020 it was announced that BIO-UV Group has struck an agreement with Hai Cheung Trading, a specialist marine equipment supplier based in Hong Kong. The strategic alliance between France-based BIO-UV Group and Hai Cheung Trading (HCT) of Hong Kong aims to reinforce the commercial rollout of the company’s BIO-SEA ballast water treatment system across Asia.
Under the new agreement, BIO-UV Group will be able draw on HCT’s extensive network of Chinese shipyards to accelerate the take-up of BIO-SEA systems across the region, strengthening the company’s presence in Asia.
Mr Deval says the new deal means the BIO-UV Group is “closer to the market in Asia and can react faster.”