Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Live from Sea Asia

ERMA First diversifying into shore power and carbon capture

Photo: METIS Eleni-Polychronopoulou
The spike in business for ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) is drawing to a close as existing vessels complete retrofits to comply with international regulations, and BWTS manufacturer EMRA First is now seeking new areas of environmental business such as shore power and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

EMRA FIRST has already launched its BLUE CONNECT alternative marine power system to provide electric power from the shore to vessels in port, which it showcased at Sea Asia 2023 this week.

“The idea is we are looking at environmental solutions and compliance this is our DNA. We are looking for ways to help our customers to become more environmentally friendly,” Eleni Polychronopoulou, President of EMRA FIRST, explains in an interview at Sea Asia.

The BLUE CONNECT shore power solution is available as both a containerised and non-containerised system depending on the vessel type.

Polychronopoulou explains that the containerised system requires two to three weeks to install, and a slightly longer for the non-containerised version. She says that both versions are “very straightforward” to install and an easier process than BWTS retrofits as no piping work is required.  

With the shore power system already in the market ERMA FIRST is planning to increase its portfolio of ESG (environmental, social and governance) related products. “We are planning to include carbon capture, as well as other ESG devices that are in development phase right now.”

Polychronopoulou says the company plans to have its CCS offering fully deployed by the end of the second half of the year.

With both marine power and CCS systems ERMA FIRST is looking to draw on its experience in installing ballast water treatment systems. “We have so much experience now, we have installed our system on almost 3,000 vessels,” she says. This means that the company understands what is required in terms of both preparation and the installation process.

“We have a very big network of partners all around the world for the engineering and installation as well, which is very critical.”

This is very different from when ERMA FIRST started out in 2009 when Polychronopoulou notes that in Greece there was just one company that could carry out 3D scanning of the vessel.

The business of retrofitting BWTS and scrubbers on vessels has a spawned a global eco-system of engineering companies to support it.

“That is why I'm very optimistic about decarbonisation, and installing ESD devices or carbon capture, because there's so much expertise out there.”