DECEMBER 16, 2013 — Wärtsilä reports that its Wärtsilä Aquarius EC (Electro-Chlorination) Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) has been granted International Maritime Organization (IMO) Type Approval. This is in accordance with the requirements of the 2004 IMO Convention for the control and management of ships' ballast water and sediments and is an essential certification pre-requisite for the system to be used onboard ships.
The Type Approval was attained in cooperation with the flag administration of the Netherlands, independent testing facilities, and classification society Lloyds Register. Testing and optimization of the system were carried out during both land-based and shipboard trials conducted in accordance with IMO requirements. Additional testing is planned to ensure full United States Coast Guard (USCG) Type Approval for the Aquarius EC BWMS.
This is the second Wärtsilä BWMS to have been fully endorsed and type approved by the flag administration of the Netherlands, marking the culmination of a dedicated development program initiated in 2010.
The Wärtsilä Aquarius UV BWMS was granted IMO Type Approval in 2012 and USCG Alternate Management System (AMS) acceptance in October 2013. The time required to complete Type Approval for an electro chlorination (EC) system is longer, as the EC treatment process makes use of an active substance that requires both intermediate Basic and Final approval from IMO GESAMP as pre-requisites to a Type Approval application.
"There is significant market demand for our BWMS as owners look to prepare their ships ahead of regulatory implementation," says Dr Joe Thomas, Director, Wärtsilä Ballast Water Management Systems. "Type Approval for the Aquarius EC is another important milestone that we have now passed in offering owners and operators around the world access to cost efficient, flexible, and environmentally sustainable means of complying with ballast water discharge regulations
The Wärtsilä Aquarius EC BWMS is based on a two-stage treatment process. On uptake, seawater is first passed through a back washing screen type filter. The filtered seawater then passes through a static mixer where hypochlorite generated in a side stream electrolysis process is injected and mixed to disinfect the water before entering the ballast tank. On discharge, water from the ballast tanks is pumped through the static mixer for a second time and residual chlorine (if any) is neutralized prior to discharge. The filter is not used during discharge.
The modular approach provides maximum flexibility for system design and installation. Key components are positioned to suit available space, a major advantage when considering retrofit projects. Retrofit installations can be carried out either during dry docking, at the quayside, or whilst the ship is in operation, minimizing downtime.
Wärtsilä says its Aquarius BWMS range offers a choice of cost-effective technologies and through the company's BWMS partnership program, provides owners with lifecycle support for their BWMS installations. Wärtsilä provides a complete BWMS turnkey service that includes technical support, ship survey and system design, engineering, project management, procurement, installation, commissioning, and after-sales support via the company's global network of service and repair facilities.