MAY 16, 2013 — Wärtsilä says its Aquarius EC Ballast Water Management System has received Final Approval status from IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) for its Wärtsilä Aquarius EC Ballast Water Management System. The approval was granted May 13 at MEPC's 65th session held at the IMO headquarters in LondonThe Basic Approval had been granted in October 2012.
The Aquarius EC and Aquarius UV Ballast Water Management Systems became part of the Wärtsilä portfolio following the acquisition of Hamworthy plc in January 2012. The Aquarius UV, which treats ballast water using ultraviolet technology, received type approval in December 2012.
The Aquarius EC required Final Approval as this is required for all systems using an active substance. The approval is based upon examination of full scale prototype test data and all required supporting documentation on aspects such as risk and safety to the ship, crew, general public, and the environment.
Ballast water treatment with a Wärtsilä Aquarius EC system is achieved through a two stage process. Upon uptake the sea water is first passed through a back washing filter (first Stage) and then the filtered sea water passes through a static mixer, where the disinfectant generated from the side stream electrolysis unit (second stage) is injected to ensure a maximum level of 10 parts per million (ppm) in the treated ballast water.
During discharge, the filter is bypassed and any residual oxidant in treated ballast water is monitored before being discharged overboard. If required, treated ballast water is neutralized by injecting sodium bisulfite into the main ballast line during discharge. Neutralization effectiveness is continuously monitored to ensure compliance with MARPOL discharge limits.
The documented information required for Final Approval was reviewed and approved by a joint panel of experts from the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment Protection ballast water working group. The application was submitted to IMO by the Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate. A key element of the Final Approval submission was an investigation covering the impact of treated ballast water on coated and uncoated materials. A full Type Approval certificate for the Wärtsilä Aquarius EC system is expected by end of July this year.
"Gaining IMO Final Approval status has involved an extremely stringent review and investigation process, and we are naturally very delighted that the Wärtsilä Aquarius EC Ballast Water Management System has successfully met all the requirements of the process. This represents an essential and extremely significant milestone in offering the marine industry a safe, flexible, and extremely efficient means of treating ballast water," says Joe Thomas, Director, Wärtsilä Ballast Water Management Systems.