Saga Shipholding has become the world’s first shipowner to fit US Coast Guard type-approved ballast water management systems (BWMSs) across a large fleet, BWMS maker Optimarin reported today (14 March). The landmark was passed last month when the manufacturer delivered three 2,000 m3/hr units for newbuildings that Saga has on order at Oshima Shipbuilding in Japan. It brought to 35 the number of Saga’s fleet of open-hatch cargo vessels fitted with its system.
Its seagoing fleet of 32 ships became fully-fitted with BWMSs in November, when the 47,000 dwt Saga Viking was retrofitted with a BWMS during a scheduled docking in China.
Optimarin’s statement quoted Nils Otto Bjorhovde, Saga Shipholding’s Hong Kong-based technical manager, who said that the company had now operated BWMSs for five years. “We took an early adopter position on ballast water treatment,” he said. “We are a global shipping firm, so present and future global compliance is an absolute must to ensure we can be as flexible as our customers’ demands.”
Optimarin’s chief executive Tore Andersen said that, since the company was formed in 1994, it had been “working alongside shipowners like Saga so we fully understand their individual needs and requirements.”
Its technology has remained unchanged since 2012 but it plans to roll out what it describes as “the necessary USCG software upgrade to existing systems [to ensure] ongoing compliant operation for pre-installed units into the future.” This is to allow the systems to operate in either an IMO or USCG mode, with different levels of UV irradiation, Mr Andersen told BWTT.