Erma First adds world’s smallest BWTS to product range

Written by Marine Log Staff
OneTank new logo

Perama, Greece, headquartered ballast water equipment manufacturer Erma First has acquired oneTank LLC, a subsidiary of Seattle-headquartered naval architecture and marine engineering firm Glosten.

Erma First says the acquisition will see it “bring the world’s smallest and easiest to install ballast water treatment system to the international market.”

Front view of OneTank system

Developed as a small scale innovative, low-cost, IMO Revised G8 Code and USCG compliant system, oneTank is based on a patented mixing technology developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The system can be installed in larger vessels’ aftpeak tanks. It is also suitable for use aboard workboats, tugboats, semi-submersibles, fishing vessels and superyachts. The technology is already being adopted on ships in aftpeak tanks within Overseas Shipholding Group’s tanker fleet and on the dredge MV Charlock in the Netherlands.

Erma First reports that it has seen significant success with its electro-chlorination systems for larger vessels and is now expanding its portfolio to provide a wider variety of onboard solutions to a larger market.

The move follows its acquisitions of German water treatment specialist RWO GmbH in May 2021and METIS Cyberspace Technology in 2019 and positions Erma First as a global provider of environmental protection systems.

“This is a game-changing ballast water treatment technology,” said Erma First Managing Director Konstantinos Stampedakis. “It is compact, simple-to-use, and fully automated. It delivers a quick to install additional solution for small ballast tanks on big ships as well as a stand-alone solution for small vessels such as yachts, tugs and offshore support vessels. To win the battle against invasive marine species and effectively protect our vulnerable marine eco-systems, ballast water from internationally trading smaller vessels also needs treating in a way which is practical and economically viable. We believe that we have this solution in the form of oneTank, a product which keeps it simple.”

“In Erma First we’ve found the perfect partner to take our innovation to the next level,” said oneTank managing director, Kevin Reynolds. “Over the past 10 years, they have been hugely successful in introducing their own large electro-chlorination system to the global merchant fleet; they have a commitment to research & development and crucially they have the financial resources required to market this product internationally. We are excited to see our product go global.”

The oneTank system treats ballast water within the vessel’s ballast tank and has no filters, ultra-violet lamps or electrolytic chlorine generators. Its footprint is only 600 mm by 600 mm. Its power consumption is similar to that of a household washing machine.

The solution. which works in all water qualities and salinities, uses an 8.25% or 12.5% sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and 30% sodium thiosulfate solution, both readily available chemicals that can be purchased from suppliers worldwide.

Application is practical for smaller vessels as a 20-liter container of 12.5% bleach will treat approximately 288 cubic meters of ballast water. For larger vessels, oneTank can treat tanks as large as 4,000 cubic meters.

Seawater is automatically treated by applying and mixing the bulk chemicals in-tank, allowing users to treat on their own schedules, avoiding busy in-port times.

USGS Technology Transfer Program, Patent and Licensing Manager James Mitchell said: “Federal laboratories such as USGS are encouraged to make their inventions available to private industry in order to benefit the nation’s economy and to have the technology products available on world markets. The technology transfer program at the USGS is designed to leverage the research capabilities of USGS scientists with the commercial development potential of the private sector. USGS is proud to be doing our part to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species by the commercialization of its patented technologies.”

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