Wärtsilä BWMS gains IMO Basic Approval

OCTOBER 11, 2012 — Wärtsilä says that its Aquarius EC ballast water management system (BWMS) has been granted Basic Approval by IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) during its recent 64th session in London.

The initial application for Basic Approval of the Aquarius EC system was submitted through the Dutch Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) in September 2011 and was reviewed by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environment Protection (GESAMP) ballast water working group in April 2012.

"We are absolutely delighted to reach this milestone. Credit is extended to the whole Wärtsilä ballast team and our strategic partners, all of whom have approached this in a very diligent and professional manner," says Dr. Joe Thomas, Director, Ballast Water Systems, Wärtsilä Environmental Solutions.

Gaining IMO Basic Approval is the first step towards full IMO Type Approval, and focuses on the fundamentals of the technology including toxicity and environmental impact. The next stage, IMO Final Approval, examines full scale prototype test data and required supporting documentation on aspects such as risk and safety to the ship, crew, general public and the environment.

Application for IMO Final Approval was submitted immediately following the MEPC decision on Basic Approval. A key element of the Final submission was an investigation on the impact of the treated ballast water on uncoated and coated materials typically used in marine and offshore construction. This comprehensive package of information was reviewed by ILT and eminent Dutch experts prior to submission. Final Approval is expected to be endorsed at MEPC-65 in 2013, after completingthe mandatory review by GESAMP. IMO Type Approval is expected shortly thereafter.

Aquarius EC is a modular ballast water management system, providing, says Wärtsilä, a safe, flexible and economical process for the treatment of ballast water.

Ballast water treatment with an Aquarius EC system is achieved through a simple and efficient two stage process. Upon uptake the sea water is first passed through a back washing filter (first Stage) and then the filtered sea water passes through a static mixer, where the disinfectant generated from the side stream electrolysis unit (second stage) is injected to ensure a maximum level of 10 ppm in the treated ballast water.

During discharge the filter is bypassed and residual concentration of TRO in treated ballast water is monitored before being discharged overboard. If required, treated ballast water is neutralized by injecting sodium bisulfite into the main ballast line during discharge. Neutralization effectiveness is continuously monitored to ensure compliance with MARPOL discharge limits.

Wärtsilä offers the Aquarius EC and Aquarius UV, which both became part of the portfolio following the acquisition of Hamworthy plc in January 2012, in addition to the MARINEX UV ballast water management system, which has been jointly developed and marketed with Trojan Technologies since 2010.