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New systems for ballast water treatment at SMM 2008


The regulations of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on ballast water management have motivated developers to come up with a series of innovations, which will be presented for the first time at the SMM 2008. There will be more than 1,800 exhibitors from 50 nations at the world’s leading shipbuilding event, the 23rd shipbuilding, machinery & marine technology, international trade fair hamburg, to be held at the new Hamburg Trade Fair site from 23 to 26 September 2008.

They will all be presenting their latest products and technologies. And they will include manufacturers of marine equipment, who look forward to good business with their new systems for ballast water treatment. It will not be long before all new ships will be required to filter all ballast water before taking it on board and before discharging it again.

Along with the 12 billion tonnes of ballast water they take onboard every year, ships also carry an armada of “stowaways” to other parts of the world – including plankton, invertebrates, fish larvae, plants, and also pathogens. According to the environment protection agency WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), there are more than 4,000 different species being carried in ballast water to new shores, sometimes with disastrous consequences. To back the arguments for the IMO ballast water regulations, the BSH (Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency) conducted an analysis as early as 2004 showing the costs for fishery, aquaculture, coastal facilities, etc. resulting from this transportation of organisms. Thus the shipworm has caused 50 million euros worth of damage in the Baltic Sea since 1993, and the Chinese mitten crab between 73.5 and 85 million euros.

The “International Convention for the Control and Management of ships’ ballast water and sediments” put forward by the IMO in 2004 aims to put an end to uncontrolled migration of organisms to foreign waters. From 1 January 2009, ballast management will be introduced on ships, preventing uncontrolled exchange of water.
By 2016 all ships, both new and old, will have to be fitted with a cleaning system. A lucrative market in view of the 44,500 ships of more than 300 GT in the world’s merchant shipping fleet, according to figures of the ISL (Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics, Bremen). It is no wonder that new systems for ballast water cleaning are exhibited by a whole series of companies at the SMM 2008.

The Bremen-based company ROW, a member of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, will showcase its new “CleanBallast” system at the SMM 2008. Following extensive on-shore testing, the system has now been delivered to a ship owner for “live application”. The system comprises DiskFilters and the EctoSys electrolysis system for disinfection, treating the ballast water inline at full flow rate, and guaranteeing compliance with the IMO Performance Standard D-2.

The North German company Hamann, a manufacturer of marine purification systems, presents its three-part “Sedna” system; it started development of this system as early as 2001 and has Final Approval from the IMO. The system works with cyclones and filters. Any remaining organisms are killed by means of a chemical in the third cleaning stage.
Envio Water presents its EnvioMar system, which kills microorganisms in ballast water after a hydrocyclone has removed the suspended particulates. This system can handle up to 5000m3 of ballast water per hour. The results of the on-shore test will be available for the SMM 2008.

Mahle NFV presents its OceanProtectionSystem OPS for mechanical/physical ballast water treatment – another system that will have its first presentation at the SMM 2008. The approval procedure has just started.

Alfa Laval has a lead in this field – the Swedish company already has IMO approval for its new development PureBallast, a chemical-free ballast water treatment system, and took the first order for it in August 2007. Four container ships of the Hamburg shipping company E.R. Schiffahrt are to be fitted with the new system and commissioned in January 2009. All in all Alfa Laval already has orders for 20 systems. Further orders are expected at the SMM 2008.