Developments with ballast water

Apr 01 2021

Leasing option from Optimarin, computer training from DESMI, new fish species in Estonia, CTI’s Singapore test facility, Techcross order on heavy lift vessels.

Leasing option from Optimarin, computer training from DESMI, new fish species in Estonia, CTI’s Singapore test facility, Techcross order on heavy lift vessels.


Optimarin of offering a leasing option for ballast water systems, enabling owners to meet their requirements without big CAPEX outlays.


The company has partnered with a UK based finance company, to develop an offering where payments are made monthly, no deposit is required, and all servicing and spare parts are included. The interest rates are “in line with competitive bank financing”, the company says.


The firm, which currently has around 600 units installed, 40% of which are retrofits, has partnered with a UK-based finance company to offer customers the chance to improve their cash flow by splitting payments into small, manageable monthly amounts. No payment or deposit is required up front and all servicing and spare parts can be included in a simple, comprehensive package. Interest rates, Andersen says, are in line with competitive bank financing, without the complex requirements and demands.


“There are many, many excellent shipping firms that may struggle to satisfy banking covenants in an investment atmosphere that is increasingly risk averse,” says Tore Andersen, EVP sales and marketing with Optimarin.


“We have the partners and belief to help owners get the market proven equipment they require. As a company we’re focused on simplifying BWT for our customers.”


Optimarin has also produced an attractive 5 min video explaining the importance of ballast water systems to the public.



DESMI has developed a computer based training program, and associated mobile app, to help marine engineers and crew members train and learn about its "Ocean Guard CompactClean" ballast water system.


Mark Kalhøj Andersen, Technical Manager and Head of Projects and Engineering with DESMI Ocean Guard says that the tools can take someone who has to operate or maintain a system from 0% knowledge to 80%, with the rest being the hands on part.


There is an training course, starting with a general description and getting more detailed with sections on process and instrumentation, hardware and software, troubleshooting and maintenance, with detailed diagrams and pictures, "what is this and why is it relevant for you". It includes process and instrumentation diagrams. A hardware section takes users to the smallest components. A software section explains how the human-machine interface is used to operate the system.


There is also a simulator section, giving a 3D visualisation, which people can click on to learn how to operate the system, for example turning valves. There are chapters on troubleshooting and maintenance. There is a test at the end.


There is also a mobile App available on Android, including a manual, and a 3D simulation / visualisation. “If you don’t have an actual physical system yet, but you know you’re going to, you can do the initial training in a digital 3D version with your smartphone," he says.



Estonia has one new fish species probably brought in by ballast water, according to a local TV program Aktuaalne kaamera, reporting in October 2020.


This is the Western tubenose goby, which was caught by fishermen during a fish monitoring process. It has an average length of 10 cm.


The fish is similar to local “round gobies” except that it has a longer nostril tube, which is where the name came from, according to the report.


The fish is native to Black Sea and Aegean Sea, but is thought to be have been brought to the Baltic Sea in ship ballast water.


Redik Eschbaum, a fishery scientist at the University of Tartu, said: "I think it will not bring any major jolts in our ecosystem. But like all live organisms, it will compete with our native species for food and habitat.”



CTI-Maritec's testing facility is DNV GL approved.


Maritime testing and inspection company CTI-Maritec, based in Singapore, has received DNV GL approval for its ballast water test facility.


It can undertake commissioning tests in line with the D2 standard.


The certification is " Approval of Service Supplier (AoSS)" certification from DNV GL.


It is approved to test all organism size classes specified in the standard along with bacteria.


The certification process involved DNV GL reviewing CTI-Maritec's standard operating procedures, including its sampling methodology, analysis, and quality control.


Onboard indicative tests are a minimum requirement, but if any discharge sample exceeds the regulatory levels, samples must be analysed by accredited laboratories.


The organisation has several test labs in China, where many ballast water systems are being installed, and is planning to open further facilities across Asia and the Middle East .


"There are already about 12,000 systems installed, with the majority not having been compliance tested," said John Ren Di, VP Business Development, CTI-Maritec.


The company advises ballast testing at least twice a year for vessels that may be trading in US waters.



Techcross of Busan, South Korea, reported in September 2020 that it had a contract to deliver a ballast water system to Europe’s largest heavy lift vessel, providing two sets of its ECS 600B electrochemical system.


This vessel is able to carry 110,000 tons of cargo. It is designed to move oil and gas facilities, but has also been used as an offshore dry dock facility for other ships.


The Techcross system uses a standard "T-strainer" to remove large fish or organisms from the ballast water - this is a much simpler piece of equipment than a filter, with lower cost to both buy and operate, and taking a smaller footprint of space.


The system does not need a filter because it can achieve a high enough disinfection performance just with its electrochemical methods, says Ah-Mi Moon, manager of the marketing team, with Techcross.


About 30 per cent of Techcross's order book is with tankers, accounting for about 710 tankers in total, including LNG and LPG.


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