GEA Westfalia BWM gains AMS certification

BallastMaster ultraV BallastMaster ultraV

DECEMBER 10, 2013 — Another ballast water management (BWM) system has joined those certified as an Alternate Management System (AMS) by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The BallastMaster ultraV developed by GEA Westfalia Separator Group was awarded the AMS certificate last month. Ships trading in U.S. waters must have a BWM having AMS certification by the dates set by U.S. regulations. The U.S. is not a signatory to the IMO Ballast Water Management convention and IMO Type Approval of a system is not of itself sufficient to satisfy U.S.law. Though the GEA Westfalia system gained IMO Type Approval in 2011, the AMS approval means that it can now be considered for the substantial number of ships trading to the U.S.  

Under U.S. regulations, U.S. approved systems must be fitted in all new vessels whose keels were laid down after December 1, 2013. Existing vessels with keels laid down before that dateand with a ballast water capacity of 1,500 to 5,000 cu.m must comply with the US regulations after their first scheduled docking from January 1, 2014. For existing vessels with a ballast water capacity of less than 1,500 cu.m and more than 5,000 cu.m, the deadline is  the first docking after January 1, 2016.

GEA Westfalia says the BallastMaster ultraV is an extremely efficient mechanical and physical system solution for treating ballast water, including ballast water with high concentrations of organisms and sediment particles.

The two-stage system works with mechanical pre-filtration and subsequent disinfection of the ballast water by means of UVC radiation without using and/or generating chemicals.

In the first stage, an upstream mechanical filtration system removes all organisms and sedimentary particles larger than 20 microns. This reliably prevents sedimentary deposits from accumulating in the ballast water tanks, as well as guaranteeing in the second stage an optimum result for ballast water disinfecting. The filter modules are cleaned automatically by vacuum extraction (self-cleaning).

Ballast Master UV-arrayIn the second stage, the pre-filtered ballast water is disinfected by UV-C radiation. The monochromatic UV-C radiation (254 nm) effectively destroys organisms such as bacteria or phytoplankton. Ultrasonic microcavitation technology ensures that the biofilms and inorganic deposits on the cladding of the UV-C tubes are cleaned off extremely efficiently and permanently.

The low-pressure UV lamps (LPUV) in the BallastMaster ultraV emit monochromatic UV-C radiation

The combination of short-wave UV-C radiation and ultrasound cleaning of the radiation units ensures effective disinfection of constant quality in line with the regulations, and thus ensures, says GEA Westfalia that all port controls are passed without any problems.