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Ballast Water Treatment

Alternative Management Systems towards type approved systems, and the additional news that IMO conventions had reached the tonnage to ratify globally, operators that have been observing will now be getting involved. For the large part that group is represented by smaller fleet or even individual boat owners. Fortunately in our case these smaller business owners get to benefit from the decade of learning and experience that Alfa Laval has made in PureBallast with the introduction of the 3.1 Compact. It is a skid based system suited for ballast flow rates down to 140 gal/min and operating power demands as low as 11kW. Getting our first look at how the USCG ty pe approval reads it is evident that the companies that unsuccessfully pushed for acceptance of the internationally accepted MPN test protocol may wind up with the advantage of having submitted testing data and gone through the process once before. Variances between the European hazardous area designations and the USCG standards as an example are situations that MSI and Alfa Laval have already worked through in the development of our modular solution for barges. That system is running successfully today on working vessels. As the rules of engagement become clearer so does the fact that no matter what scale you’re at, working with partners that have proven track records in not only design and production but also with robust after care networks will be the economical choice. Another development that came

forward this year is the USCG point of emphasis on crew competency for ballast treatment system operations. This is again an area where MSI and our customers gain advantage from Alfa Laval’s history and commitment. Our service technicians have benefitted from hands on training at Alfa Laval’s Test and Training Centre in Aalborg Denmark. At this facility a 2MW diesel engine operates with support from a range of Alfa Laval equipment, including a working PureBallast system. The opportunity to operate, experience fault testing in a lab platform is experience your crew can benefit from, or even participate in. This will help ensure that system operators are prepared for evaluations and supported closely in your real world scenarios. This is my third year representing the ballast treatment segment here in the Voices of the Industry supplement. Two years ago I commented about concerns related to a “gold rush mentality.” I was thinking about that recently when a colleague commented jokingly that there are as many ballast treatment companies and technologies for sale right now as there are systems being offered to the market. I imagine that might be true given the wherewithal needed to sustain until this type approval release phase. There have been countless, and we’ve attended many of them, seminars and conferences with ballast treatment as the central theme. This is a good opportunity to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of several of our competitors, participating operators and of course the regulators also. Looking

ahead to 2017 and beyond we’ll all be relieved to really get working on solutions rather than meeting to discuss problems. No matter where your business is along the implementation path, making equipment selections that take a long view with proven collaborators is the way to go. Ballast treatment systems and ballast management is not going away. The Coast Guard’s commitment to their approval process is good indication that showing them a control panel that lights up and some log entries is not going to cut it come inspection time. Now is the time to get serious and act.

December 2016 // Marine Log 37

December 2016 Marine Log  
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