Another ballast water management system (BWMS) maker has applied for US Coast Guard (USCG) type-approval. It is Erma First of Greece, which submitted its approval last Tuesday (11 April) but only made its application public yesterday (18 April). At the time of writing, its application had not yet been included in USCG’s online list of applications it has received.
It is now planning to be one of the first – perhaps the first – to apply for type-approval to IMO’s revised G8 Guidelines, which set out testing requirements under the Ballast Water Management Convention.
It is the sixth company to apply for USCG approval but its Erma First Fit BWMS is the first that uses full flow electrolysis. In a statement, Erma First said that its system had performed perfectly in a variety of marine environments covering three water salinities during tests in Morocco, Spain, Netherlands, France, New York and Savannah.
Testing had taken 30 months, finishing in late 2016, and its results “meet and even exceed USCG criteria,” by “at least one order of magnitude lower than those of the final rule,” Erma First’s managing director Konstantinos Stampedakis told BWTT. He described its work so far as “a long and demanding journey” and said that the type-approval application “proves our ability to deliver a high quality and well-designed BWMS [and] justifies the efforts and methodical work of our team of experts towards this objective.”
Mr Stampedakis explained that Erma First was only the second company to work with its selected independent laboratory so its testing required a big investment in time and effort from both sides. Interpreting the rules “for first time was another difficult and time-consuming task.” But he paid tribute to USCG staff “who always provided us with an answer, even if it was not the preferred one.”
The company’s next objective is to apply for type approval according to IMO’s revised G8 Guidelines. This is planned for the second quarter of this year. Erma First has performed a gap analysis between the data from its USCG tests and those required by the revised G8, Mr Stampedakis said. “This has indicated some additional testing which will be finalised later this week,” he said today (19 April).
The company has already approached a couple of administrations that have said they are ready to accept such applications and “we are currently in discussions with those for our final selection,” he said.
• A case study featuring an Erma First installation is included on page 70 of the just-published 2017 edition of the Ballast Water Treatment Technology guide.