Craig Patrick, sales director of BWMS at Wartsila, said the Wartsila Suzhou factory has an annual BWMS production capacity of around 400, and the aim is to more than double that figure to 1,000 over the next couple of years.
The Suzhou factory is capable of producing two different types of ballast water treatment systems – the Ultra-Violet (UV) light and Electro-Chlorination (EC). Both the Wartsila Aquarius UV and Aquarius EC systems have obtained IMO type approvals.
“We are now looking forward to obtain the US Coast Guard (USCG) type approval for our EC system by 2017, and for our UV system by early-2018,” Patrick told reporters in Suzhou last week during a press trip organised by Wartsila.
With offers of both the UV and EC treatment systems, Wartsila is able to meet demands from a wide range of vessel types, according to Patrick.
He shared that the EC treatment system is better able to cater to vessel types such as bulk carriers from handysizes to capesizes and tankers from handysizes to ULCCs. The UV treatment system, on the other hand, is suited for vessels such as containerships from feeders to post-panamaxes and other vessels such chemical carriers, ro-ro vessels and general cargo ships.
The IMO BWM convention was ratified in September 2017 and will come into force this year September, making it compulsory for shipowners to install or retrofit ballast water treatment systems on their fleet.
“We expect our BWMS orderbook to come mostly from newbuildings in China rather than retrofits,” Patrick said, explaining that Wartsila will continue to benefit from its long term partnership with shipbuilding group China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) since July 2014.
The CSSC Wartsila joint venture widened its scope of cooperation with the formation of CSSC Wartsila Electrical & Automation Shanghai Co in January this year, adding on to existing joint ventures with CSSC including Wartsila CME Zhenjiang Propeller and Wartsila Engine (Shanghai) Company.