Despite many years of discussion, ballast water treatment is a relatively new application in practice. On most existing vessels, there is no space or consideration for a ballast water treatment system in the original design. This means there are many technical obstacles to be overcome during a retrofit.
Yet the challenges are far from just technical. A retrofit project involves many different phases, which may in turn involve many different partners. “Strong teamwork is a prerequisite for success in retrofitting a ballast water treatment system,” says Jonas Alvan, Manager PureBallast Customer Support, Alfa Laval. “From the initial engineering to the delivery and installation at the shipyard, as well as the final commissioning, there is a need for clear routines and experienced project management.”
Key competencies in one place
Having sold roughly 1,500 Alfa Laval PureBallast systems, around 500 of which have been for retrofit projects, Alfa Laval is well acquainted with retrofit demands. In more than 10 years of working with retrofit installations, the company has developed complete resources for seeing a retrofit carried out.
“Alfa Laval is ready to work with the customer’s own engineering department and that of the yard, but we also have a broad network from which we can secure the necessary competencies,” Alvan says. “For example, we’ve invested heavily in the development of our engineering partners, who have in-depth PureBallast training and a thorough knowledge of how to work with the system.”
Alfa Laval’s network, which can handle everything from 3D laser surveying to class approval of the finished system, brings peace of mind to the company’s retrofit customers. “Our knowledge and resources can fill the gaps in what may seem an overwhelming process,” says Alvan. “We offer exactly the support the customer and yard require, whether this is their first retrofit or their fifty-first.”
Project management and global coordination
Further security is offered by Alfa Laval’s project management capabilities, which ensure that all project partners understand the scope, timeline and responsibilities involved. Accustomed to working on a global level, Alfa Laval’s project management experts safeguard the retrofit workflow – even when circumstances change.
“Retrofits are complex projects that may involve multiple sites worldwide, and we’ve seen instances where a change in route can lead to a new choice of dry dock,” Alvan explains. “As a global supplier with strong logistics, we’re prepared to adapt to such changes, which can make all the difference in keeping the project time frame.”
Understanding the full retrofit picture
Regardless which supplier customers choose, the complexity of retrofitting a ballast water treatment system should not be underestimated. A downloadable overview of the retrofit process, highlighting both technical and project management issues, can be downloaded here: http://www.alfalaval.com/globalassets/documents/microsites/pureballast/pdf/alfa_laval_pureballast_chapter_extract_retrofit.pdf
The overview is taken from “Making sense of ballast water management”, a comprehensive guide that explores regulations, technologies, systems and more. The full guide is available from Alfa Laval at the following link: http://www.alfalaval.com/pureballast/knowledge/