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Offshore Support Journal

Ballast Water Treatment Technology

Ninth USCG certificate issued; not all can be fitted on US ships

Thu 21 Jun 2018 by Paul Gunton

Ninth USCG certificate issued; not all can be fitted on US ships
Samsung’s Purimar BWMS uses a filter and electrolysis unit in its ballasting mode (credit: Samsung)

A ninth US Coast Guard type-approval was issued to Bio-UV of France for its Bio-Sea B ballast water management system (BWMS) yesterday (20 June), just days after South Korea’s Samsung had been granted type-approval for its Purimar system on 15 June. Another nine applications are pending, the most recent being submitted on 31 May by Hyundai for its HiBallast BWMS.

However, the Purimar system may not be installed on a US-flagged ship. Its type-approval certificate states: “The BWMS does not meet the requirements of 46 CFR Subchapter F or 46 CFR Subchapter J, and may not be installed on a US flag vessel.” The same applies to SunRui’s BalClor BWMS, which received a type-approval certificate in June last year, a detail that BWTT did not identify at the time.

A ballast treatment expert confirmed to BWTT this morning that this means that a foreign-flagged ship could fit these systems and visit US ports. This expert sought clarification last year in relation to the SunRui approval and the USCG had said that its equipment met the discharge standards and the USCG could not force design requirements on vessels that are not US-flagged.

This expert also recalled a meeting addressed by USCG assistant commandant for prevention policy, RADM Paul Thomas, who had said that a vessel with a type-approved system might still be issued a deficiency if a USCG inspection finds that its installation raises a safety issue. He had also suggested to that meeting that other flags should review their requirements.

These latest type-approved systems suit different ship sizes. The Bio-Sea device’s approval covers models with maximum treatment rated capacities between 55 m3/hr and 1,400 m3/hr. Samsung’s certificate includes a range from 250 m3/hr to 10,000 m3/hr.

Bio-UV’s system adds a third UV-based BWMS to the type-approved systems available while Samsung’s Purimar uses electrolysis, making it the fourth such type-approved system. One of the other two systems uses electrodialysis and the other chemical injection.

• A full list of type-approvals, pending applications, certificates and other information can be accessed via the USCG’s Marine Safety Center website.

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