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Offshore Support Journal

Ballast Water Treatment Technology

UPDATE: First chemical-based BWMS receives USCG type-approval

Fri 11 Aug 2017 by Paul Gunton

UPDATE: First chemical-based BWMS receives USCG type-approval
The Ecochlor BWTS has become the fifth system to receive USCG type-approval (credit: Ecochlor)

Ecochlor’s ballast water management system (BWMS), the Ecochlor BWTS, became the first chemical injection treatment system to receive US Coast Guard (USCG) Type Approval yesterday (10 August). Its approval covers 14 models with maximum treatment rated capacities between 500 m3/h and 16,200 m3/h. It is the fifth system to gain USCG type-approval and a sixth – the Erma First FIT – is pending. Its application was submitted on 2 May.

Ecochlor BWTS uses a three-step process consisting of filtering and chemical injection on uptake, along with in-tank sampling of chlorine dioxide concentrations, the USCG’s announcement said. It explained that it had conducted a detailed review of the manufacturer’s type-approval application and determined the system met the requirements of 46 CFR 162.060. Ecochlor had submitted its application on 31 March.

In a statement yesterday, Ecochlor said that the process is completely effective on all aquatic invasive species regardless of water turbidity, salinity or temperature. Its president and founder Tom Perlich said the type-approval “validates all the hard work we expended to ensure there is a reliable, efficient, cost-effective treatment system available to shipowners.” Its first installation was made in 2004, he said, and the system works “just as effectively as it did [then] without any fundamental changes.”

Ecochlor claims that its process has several unique features, including low power consumption: to treat a flow rate of 8,000 m3/hr requires typically 12 kW, with maximum requirements reaching 35 kW. The system has many safety and redundancy features, the company said, such as pressurised double-wall storage tanks, flow controls and a vacuum mixing chamber where the chlorine dioxide is generated on-demand.

It also emphasised its size and modular assembly, which it said makes it extremely space efficient and suitable for tight spaces. Typically, only one treatment system is required, it said, with up to three chemical injection points connected to the vessel’s ballast lines.

Ecochlor worked with DNV GL as its independent laboratory, the Golden Bear testing facility and the environmental consultant EnviroManagement, whose vice president Marcie Merksamer commented that, for all system manufacturers, “getting through the USCG Type Approval process is a long journey, with challenges and successes along the way.”

UPDATE: USCG updated its type-approval certificate the day after it was issued. In an online statement it said that this reflected “DNV GL’s evaluation and recommendation that Ecochlor be approved for use with all filter models of the Filtersafe BS-series. Filtersafe Standard and Turbo BS-series filters may be used with no limitation to their associated treatment rated capacity.”

Brief details of the systems so far type-approved and pending can be found here and their type-approval certificates are available here. A list of companies that have submitted letters of intent to apply for USCG type-approval (which includes those that have completed the process) can be found here. BWTT’s summary of the operational limitations of the various USCG type-approved systems has been updated to include Ecochlor’s system.

• Two days before Ecochlor received this USCG type-approval, Steve Candito was appointed as its chief executive, taking over from Charlie Miller who will retire after a transition period. Mr Candito is a lawyer and a former seagoing engineer. He was founder, president and chief executive of Foresea Consulting and, before that, president and chief executive of National Response Corporation.

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