Wärtsilä say that their AQUARIUS®EC (Electro-Chlorination) Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) has been granted International Maritime Organization (IMO) Type Approval.
The approval 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 co-operation with the Flag Administration of the Netherlands, independent testing facilities, and the Lloyds Register classification society. 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 Wärtsilä AQUARIUS®EC BWMS.
This is the second Wärtsilä BWMS to have been fully endorsed and type approved by the Flag Administration of the Netherlands, and represents the culmination of Wärtsilä’s dedicated development programme that was initiated in 2010.
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. Compliance with the IMO Ballast Water Convention helps protect local eco-systems from the spread of harmful invasive species, while easing operational concerns for ship owners and operators.
“There is significant market demand for our BWMS as owners look to prepare their ships ahead of regulatory implementation. 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,” says Dr Joe Thomas, Director, Wärtsilä Ballast Water Management Systems.
The Wärtsilä AQUARIUS®EC BWMS is based on a two-stage treatment process using proven and validated system components. Upon 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, thus minimising downtime.