Damen Shipyards Group announced it will unveil a new mobile ballast water treatment (BWT) unit at the Posidonia exhibition in Athens next week. The new in-house technology bolsters Damen’s Ballast Water Center of Excellence, which advises fleet managers on total BWT solutions for retrofits and newbuilds worldwide.
Developed in-house, the fully containerized, mobile Damen InvaSave BWT unit provides ship owners with a cost-effective alternative to retrofitting fixed BWT systems. Damen has also developed the world’s first mobile treatment vessel to operate in ports and support ship deballasting operations. The first of these customized Damen barges, fitted with Damen InvaSave units, is now under construction for service in the Dutch ports of Eemshaven and Delfzijl. One of the most important (financial) partners in this project is the ‘Waddenfonds’, the organization focusing on the preservation of the ‘Waddensea’, which is listed as a protected UNESCO world heritage site.
Gert Jan Oude Egberink, Damen Manager Ballast Water Treatment, commented, “We have been looking into what we can do to help our customers regarding ballast water treatment and finding alternatives for those owners that may not want to retrofit a ballast water treatment system, perhaps because their ships operate on fixed routes or their ships are too old and make the investment in a system prohibitively expensive. Ports may also need to provide back-up, in case a ship’s onboard treatment systems fail.”
As well as avoiding considerable retrofit investments, Damen said the mobile solution means ballast water only needs treating at the point of discharge, in contrast to fixed onboard BWT installations that also need to treat ballast water at intake. Damen can deliver the system as a separate mobile container, which can be put on board or moved around the port on a truck. Each Damen InvaSave container unit handles 300 m3/h – it’s easy to scale up if required by using multiple container units. The system has been successfully tested in the challenging waters of the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer in the Netherlands and is currently being certified by the Dutch Flag State.
“This is all in-house technology and is very simple to use – essentially it is a plug and play system in one container,” Oude Egberink continued. “Vessels only need to have a deck connection. Using this mobile treatment unit, owners and operators will be fully compliant with both the IMO and US regulations.”
In addition to its own mobile BWT system, Damen can also advise on type-approved BWT systems for onboard retrofitting, as well as retrofit engineering and installation. Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has 16 repair and conversion yard facilities, with 40 dry docks worldwide. Damen can do the onboard survey, 3D scans, onsite surveying and pre-engineering, the integration plan, purchasing, manufacture the piping, make all the preparations, do the installation and commissioning, carry out the trials, plus provide training and supply the BW management plan.
“If vessels are coming in for their special survey when the system has to be installed, we can do both things at once, providing a turnkey solution,” Oude Egberink said. “We can install Damen selected technology or our customer’s choice of unit at a Damen or a non-Damen yard or afloat. I think there is no other company that has this one-stop-shop, with both the yard and engineering capacity and a vast knowledge of shipbuilding. We can be the BWT total solution provider and our customers have a trusted partner and peace of mind.”