MHI retrofits ballast water treatment system

‘Auriga Leader’ which was retrofitted with a ballast water treatment system ‘Auriga Leader’ which was retrofitted with a ballast water treatment system

Earlier this year, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) received an order from the Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) for conversion and installation work of a ballast water treatment system on NYK’s Auriga Leader, a pure car/truck carrier.

The work, which was completed at the end of June, was carried out at MHI’s Yokohama Dockyard and Machinery Works in Kanagawa Prefecture where the Yokohama Ship Repair & Marine Engineering department and the ‘ballast water treatment project team’ are located.

The project team was newly established in April this year to specifically handle retrofitting of ballast water treatment systems on vessels in service. The order from NYK marks the first of its kind placed with the project team.

In installing a ballast water treatment system, the project team deals with every aspect of the tasks. This includes selection of the optimal treatment system for the vessel in question, design of modifications to the ship’s interior, supervising of engineering work necessary for the conversion and installation, and overall project management.

The 60,213gt Auriga Leader, which measures 199.99m in length and 32.2m in breadth, has a capacity of 6,200 cars and was completed at MHI’s Kobe Shipyard in December 2008. NYK has operated the vessel as an experimental eco-ship equipped with a solar panel system and placed the conversion order so as to further enhance its environmental credentials.

The ballast water management convention  requires both new and existing ships to install a treatment system to purify ballast water prior to its discharge from the ship. Although several years will pass before the convention takes effect, preparation for its implementation has become a major issue in both the shipbuilding and shipping industries owing to the large number of ships expected to be subject to its regulations. MHI, by leveraging knowhow accumulated through construction of new vessels and vessel modifications coupled with its newly established department to handle installations of ballast water treatment systems, intends to promote expansion of its ship modification business and strengthen its marketing activities for ballast water treatment system installation.

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