Cathelco has submitted a letter of intent (LOI) to begin testing its Ballast Water Management (BWM) system for US Coast Guard (USCG) Type Approval.
The USCG test stipulates that a BWM system must kill micro-organisms in ballast water, rather than rendering them unable to reproduce, or “inert", as per the less-stringent guidelines of the IMO G8 Type Approval procedure.
However, the system, which uses what it claims is the most compact available ultraviolet treatment chamber to treat ballast uptake, will also be tested according to the revised standards of the new draft of the IMO G8 Guidelines, at the same time. Cathelco will follow a land-based evaluation with testing aboard the AS Patria, a container ship built in 2006 which is operated by Ahrenkiel Steamship of Hamburg.
“Our system has already received IMO Type Approval and AMS Certification from the USCG. We are pushing ahead with sales, but recognise that it is essential to attain USCG Type Approval as soon as possible”, said Robert Field, Cathelco’s technical director.
One of the main challenges for manufacturers of UV treatment systems is the varying turbidity of different types of sea and river water, which, if particularly high, can block UV rays and render the treatment ineffective. Each system therefore has to have its own solution for dealing with this issue.
Cathelco’s system uses a sensor to measure UV light transmittance, adjusting the power output of its UV system accordingly to save power. The system’s inlet manifolds are also designed to channel the ballast flow into a helix, maximising contact treatment time.
Recently, Cathelco has installed a system on Harvey Stone (Hull 234), a Rampage 6400 multi-purpose field support vessel (MPFSV) built by the Eastern Shipbuilding Group, for Harvey Gulf International Marine, capable of a flow rate of 150 cu m per hour.
“Many shipowners are still undecided about which BWM systems to purchase for their vessels. Clearly, potential customers will have greater confidence in a system that has attained USCG Type Approval and we are committed to achieving this within the next 12 months.”
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