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Hakan Persson, manager business development and market of Alfa Laval

Alfa Laval introduces bulker-fit configuration ballast water treatment system

Alfa Laval has introduced a bulker-fit configuration for its ballast water treatment system that adapts to the flow needs of bulk carriers, offers cost savings and yet retains high performance.

Hakan Persson, manager business development and market of Alfa Laval, said at Marintec China 2019 in Shanghai on Thursday that the bulker-fit configuration for the Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 is a good example of how the company addresses specific market demand such as in China where large numbers of bulk carriers are being built.

Peter Sahlen, head of Alfa Laval PureBallast, said: “Bulkers have a unique ballasting and deballasting profile, because they load and unload at significantly different rates. The PureBallast 3 bulker-fit configuration differentiates the two flows, which reduces capex while preserving the many other advantages of UV treatment, such as lower opex. That gives bulker owners a strong alternative to electrochlorination.”

Bulkers often load their cargo at twice the rate they unload it, which means deballasting occurs at twice the ballasting speed. The PureBallast 3 bulker-fit configuration addresses this issue by independently dimensioning the reactor and filtration capacities. Since the filter stage is only needed during ballasting, it is dimensioned for the slower ballasting flow. This not only reduces opex and the already small system footprint, but also eliminates ballasting overcapacity and a substantial amount of investment cost.

“The PureBallast 3 bulker-fit configuration matches UV strengths to bulkers’ actual flow needs. Bulker owners who have seen electrochlorination as the only fit for their operating profile now have cost-efficient access to the substantial advantages of UV treatment,” Sahlen said.

A growing number of ship owners are choosing UV ballast water treatment over electrochlorination, even for large ballast water flows. Today’s UV treatment competes easily on footprint and energy consumption, which makes advantages like chemical-free operation, zero corrosion risk and efficiency at low salinities and temperatures even more attractive. Until now, however, the move towards UV has been less noticeable among bulkers.

Persson observed that while there are a lot of owners looking for UV-based treatment, ballast water management is “not a homogenous market”, as it depends on the operators’ needs and where the vessels are sailing.

Sahlen added: “Ballast water treatment is not a one-size-fits-all application. PureBallast 3 is already the most adaptable ballast water treatment solution on the market, and we will continue to build our offering with specific answers for different vessel types.”

Meanwhile, with the second phase of the ballast water management convention having started on 8 September this year, applying to existing vessels, Persson observed that the market is managing well and there has been no bottleneck seen at shipyards.

“I do hear concerns about functionality. What we are seeing is that when starting up a new system in general, it is new for the crew so it is something they will need to get used to onboard,” Persson said.

“That’s why we have set up training centres around the world to support the seafarers in operating the vessel and to monitor the performance of the system,” he added.

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