Electro-chlorination ballast system receives AMS acceptance

12 Nov 2014
Wärtsilä Aquarius EC

Wärtsilä Aquarius EC

Wärtsilä says that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has now granted Alternate Management System (AMS) acceptance for its Aquarius EC Ballast Water Management System (BWMS), which adds to the AMS acceptance previously granted for the Aquarius UV BWMS.

The Aquarius EC BWMS uses a two-stage process involving filtration and electro-chlorination (EC). During uptake, seawater is first passed through a 40 micron backwashing screen filter to remove particulate, sediment, zooplankton and phytoplankton. Disinfection of the filtered sea water is then carried out using hypochlorite generated from the side stream EC process, and controlled by the BWMS control system. Upon discharge, the ballast water by-passes the filter and any residual active substance is neutralised using sodium bisulphite. AMS approval process for the EC version has taken longer than that of the UV system as it uses an active substance to treat the ballast water, which, according to Wärtsilä, involves more stringent testing procedures.

"With global BWMS regulations now imminent, ship owners must evaluate as a matter of some urgency the ballast water treatment technology best suited to their existing and future vessels. Our technical leadership in this field allows us to provide strong support to our customers in meeting their environmental compliance obligations," says Dr Joe Thomas, ballast water treatment director, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

The certification allows US and foreign flag ships fitted with the system to operate in US territorial waters and to discharge treated ballast water for an interim period of up to five years from the ship specific implementation date. The company expects to be able to obtain full US type approval certification within that five year period. Wärtsilä points out that USCG has implemented legislation for ballast water discharge in advance of ratification of the IMO convention, which it expects to be achieved in the near future. 

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