Hapag-Lloyd puts SKF BWMS to the test

SKF’s Bluesonic BWMS Photo: SKF SKF’s Bluesonic BWMS Photo: SKF

In a bid to achieve approval from both the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the US Coast Guard (USCG), Hapag-Lloyd is testing an SKF ballast water management system (BWMS) on board a container vessel.

The Toronto Express must be fitted with a BWMS by 2024 to be compliant with IMO regulations that organisms in the ballast water must be at least incapable of reproducing. Currently operating the Hamburg to Montreal route, to be able to navigate US waters, the vessel also needs to meet the more stringent USCG requirements that organisms are completely destroyed.

The 750m3/h capacity SKF BlueSonic BWMS, which uses UV radiation, fulfils these requirements. The system uses ultrasound which not only ensures a continuous cleaning of the UV lamps, but also has a weakening effect on the undesirable organisms.

Following land-based tests in spring 2019, SKF carried out the installation in just four weeks during regular vessel operations and in line with a general overhaul docking at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg.

Over the coming months the BWMS will be tested by the vessel's manager, Anglo Eastern. To achieve IMO and USCG certification, five consecutive tests must be performed over a period of at least six month and each test cycle must be validated and completed in accordance with IMO and USCG-approved methods and specifications. Assuming tests are successful, SKF aims to receive certification by early 2020.

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