MARCH 18, 2014 — U.K. based Condor Ferries is taking advantage of Wärtsilä's new Aquarius Ready solution to retrofit two RO/RO ferries with ballast water management systems (BWMS). The vessels have been prepared for BWMS installation, but the actual equipment installation and commissioning will take place at a time convenient to the owners following ratification of the IMO Convention.
The Aquarius Ready concept has been developed by Wärtsilä to prepare vessels for the fitting of BWMS, while minimizing vessel downtime, thereby enabling more efficient operations.
The contract with Condor Ferries was signed in February 2014 and the final equipment delivery will take place within 12 months from the ratification of the IMO Ballast Water Convention.
Preparation work has already been undertaken onboard the ferries. This includes making the required connections to the main ballast line, installing the bypass and isolating valves, preparing the space needed, and carrying out the foundation work. These tasks were carried out when the vessels were drydocked.
Wärtsilä's Aquarius Ready solution is a phased installation process that enables the equipment to be installed at a time and location convenient to the customer. The concept avoids capacity bottlenecks in the delivery and installation of equipment, while providing the needed flexibility to accommodate the vessel's operational priorities. The process towards compliance with ballast water regulations is, therefore, both timely and efficient.
"The demand for Wärtsilä BWM systems is increasing rapidly as owners prepare their ships for regulatory compliance," says Dr Joe Thomas, Director, Wärtsilä Ballast Water Management Systems. "The Wärtsilä Aquarius Ready solution enables cost saving and installation flexibility, while having Wärtsilä as a single point of contact between the yards, the class societies, and the flag state authorities is a huge benefit for owners."
"This partnership with Wärtsilä has allowed Condor to be ready to fit ballast water treatment without the need to lay up any of our ships, since the preparation work, which requires the ship to be out of service, was completed during planned refit periods," says Graham Belgum, Fleet Director for Condor. "Fitment can then take place in-service when the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments is ratified."
Condor Ferries operates ferry services between mainland England, the Channel Islands, and France.