Ballast Water Containers (BWC) of the UK can now offer its portable treatment unit with a USCG type-approved Ecochlor treatment unit, following what the two companies termed a “strategic collaboration” in an announcement today (12 October).
BWC’s chief executive Richard Lawson told BWTT that Ecochlor’s single-stage treatment technology, operating during uptake only, was a key factor that impressed him in reaching the agreement with the US-based company.
It already offers containerised versions of other ballast water management systems (BWMSs) and having a choice of technology “is important if we want to fully satisfy the needs of our clients,” he said. “If a client wants a mobile system and has a preference for a particular technology then we are now in a better position to meet these demands.”
Today’s announcement quoted Ecochlor president Tom Perlich, who said that BWC’s methodology “will be welcomed by regulators around the world and satisfy a vital portion of the ballast water treatment market.” In particular, it could extend the useful life of older vessels which would avoid the expense of installing permanent systems.
He later told BWTT that he hopes the deal with BWC will “increase the sale of the Ecochlor line of products through a different application of our existing BWMS.” He believes a containerised arrangement offers a simplified retrofit with a reduced installation time at a dry dock or riding crew. He also views this as a short-term solution for older ships, since the shipowner would be able to re-use the BWMS, after the existing vessel is scrapped, on a different ship.
Mr Lawson stressed its shoreside applications, noting that, since IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention came into force last month, “interest in mobile containerised treatment systems continues to grow” as an alternative to retrofitting.
For example, he suggested to BWTT, “it may not be cost effective to retrofit every vessel in an owner’s fleet” or, for some owners and operators, “a mobile containerised Ecochlor treatment system operated from the quayside may be the ideal setup.” Barges and oil rigs may also be well suited to a mobile containerised system, he said.
It could also have wider use as a port-based alternative to shipboard installations, Mr Perlich suggested. “A containerised Ecochlor BWMS would be an optimal solution for a port-based treatment due to the efficacy of the treatment technology using chlorine dioxide, very limited crew involved and no need to treat or neutralise the water on discharge,” he commented to BWTT.