VOS BWTS to Be Tested on APL Containership

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 22, 2015

NEI takes the next step towards full USCG Type Approval for its Venturi Oxygen Stripping (VOS®) Ballast Water Treatment System

NEI takes the next step towards full USCG Type Approval for its Venturi Oxygen Stripping (VOS®) Ballast Water Treatment System


Shipboard testing to be conducted on the vessel APL England as NEI takes the next step towards full USCG Type Approval for its Venturi Oxygen Stripping (VOS) Ballast Water Treatment System.

NEI Treatment Systems announced that the container vessel APL England will be used for the shipboard testing phase of their VOS Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS), to begin in the early summer of 2015.  The APL England is a 67.9K DWT container vessel, trading between China and multiple ports on the U.S. West Coast.  The vessel utilizes a VOS system operating at 1,250 m3/hr., and was installed seven years ago.  The retrofit project was completed as an in-service “riding” installation.  NEI and the APL England have been participating in the USCG Shipboard Testing Evaluation Program (STEP) since 2010 with this same vessel.

NEI was the first in the world to achieve IMO Approval (Liberia 2007), and received USCG Alternate Management System (AMS) acceptance in 2013 for all water types, for capacities ranging from 500 m3/hr. up through more than 6,000 m3/hr.  With this announcement, NEI continues its long history of fully transparent and publicly available biological and component testing.  Under contract with NSF International, NEI is prepared to complete the critical next step towards full USCG Type Approval, for all VOS systems.  VOS was originally evaluated for IMO review by Dr. Mario Tamburri, under the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (both land based and shipboard testing).  Dr. Tamburri of the Maryland Environmental Resource Center (MERC) in cooperation with The Great Ships Initiative (GSI) will once again be managing the VOS testing on the APL England as Independent Labs (IL’s) under the NSF network.

John Bradley, NEI CEO said, “We are very happy to be working with our long time customer, APL on this comprehensive and critical testing.  With the goal of full USCG Type Approval, this ETV based testing managed by NSF and their network of IL’s will provide owners and operators with the ultimate assurance they are installing a system in full compliance with the U.S. ballast water discharge laws.  With the IMO indicating changes to the G8 guidelines, and the current IMO proposed standards still not ratified, the existing U.S. law and network of IL’s will begin to bring some much needed clarity to this market.  We hear every day that owners and operators simply do not have confidence that G8-based testing is truly comprehensive, and they feel it does not accurately represent the diverse water conditions inherent to global trade.  They are now beginning to demand that any performance and biological efficacy claims are based upon truly independent laboratory testing, with complete Quality Assurance/Quality Control procedures available for public scrutiny. 

"This level of confidence can only be achieved through the open publication of the Independent laboratories’ procedures, policies and qualifications.  USCG IL testing, based upon the published ETV protocols, will now clearly document for owners and operators which systems can effectively and consistently kill the living organisms, per the exact language contained in the U.S. discharge laws.  Owners and operators deserve the validity and assurances that come with truly independent and peer reviewed testing.”

VOS has a unique and patented approach to treating only influent ballast water through the process of cavitation/de-oxygenation.  This proven physical method of treatment safely and effectively de-oxygenates the water, creating a hypoxic environment deadly to any oxygen dependent organism.  VOS does not require any filtration, active substances or retreatment of the ballast water.  This enables the system to fully support topside/gravity discharge and tank stripping operations without exception.

Kevin Krick, APL Head of Security and Environment, Americas said: “APL has a long standing commitment to responsible shipping and pro-actively implementing technologies to protect the environment.  APL England first implemented VOS BWTS via a riding installation seven years ago with that goal in mind.  Staying on course, APL is pleased to work with NEI on the testing of the VOS BWTS as they prepare for full USCG type approval.”

NEI has completed upgrading the VOS system controller and sensor network on the APL England, to maintain consistency with their ETV based component testing already completed at the IL Retlif Laboratory.  Other than these controller and sensor upgrades, specific to the USCG reporting requirements, the APL England’s VOS system is identical to when it was first installed.  The effectiveness of this physical process does not require ongoing “upgrades” such as filtration and UV based systems can require.  NEI has multiple Class approved systems installed today, operating at ballast pump capacities from 250 m3/hr. up through 6,800 m3/hr.  These installations include a diverse set of vessels, including: Bulkers, Containers, Chemical Tankers, Coastal Crude Oil Tankers and multiple VLCC’s, all in operation today.

NEI, along with their licensees and manufacturing partners, Mitsubishi Kakoki (Japan) and Samgong VOS (South Korea) has the ability to manufacture and support the tremendous number of vessels requiring qualified systems to comply with U.S. discharge laws, which are subject to enforcement today.  The VOS system currently holds more IMO approvals than any other system with five (Liberia, The Marshall Islands, The Netherlands, Malta and Panama).  The current NEI AMS acceptance, based upon those IMO approvals, enables VOS customers to comply with U.S. regulations for the treatment of all water types including; fresh, salt, brackish and highly turbid.

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