Odfjell said it is installing ballast water management systems on all owned vessels in light of IMO and US Coast Guard regulations to sterilise ballast water that poses threats to marine ecosystems
The company said it has been working on a ballast water management system upgrade since 2007, and has followed the US Coast Guard’s regulations which were implemented in 2016. Since then, the Coast Guard has approved several ballast water treatment solutions.
Odjfell Ship Management project manager Veine Huth said in light of industry approvals, there was now no excuse not to meet the treatment requirements. “When we started this project, no systems were industry approved, so we had to evaluate them based on technology and our own criteria and specifications.”
Odfjell said it chose the UV filtering solution over electrolysis and chemical injection for its simplicity. As the process creates no by-products and involves no special chemicals, there are no added logistics.
Mr Huth said “One of the key factors when choosing this system was how it would affect our crew. The UV system is well known, efficient and intuitive to manage for our colleagues on board. Also, it works in any type of water, from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.”
Removing unwanted organisms from seawater is a complex and expensive process for a shipowners. The regulations have faced criticism from industry figures. Writing for Riviera Maritime Media, Celsius Shipping chief operating officer Niels Christensen suggested shipowners ought to band together to demand ports provide effective ballast treatment.
All Odfjell’s system installations are built at a Chinese yard. The company is using 3D scanning and measuring technology to prefabricate pipes and parts. Fourteen ships have been upgraded since 2018, and a further 11 installations are planned for 2020.
Odfjell expects that all owned ships in its fleet will have the UV system installed by 2023.