BAWAT is on the verge of achieving full USCG approval for its unique pasteurization-based ballast water management system, with test results demonstrating the total efficacy of the simple, energy efficient and ‘150 year old’ technological process.
BAWAT CEO Kim Diederichsen says “a wake up call” is on its way, for both the segment and the broader shipping industry.
Tried and tested
BAWAT’s system – which is built from off the shelf components, utilizes no chemicals or filters, and works simply by heating ballast water – has now passed all USCG land based tests and has only one shipboard test left to complete. This is scheduled for April in the ‘difficult’ waters (high organism levels) of Port Klang, Malaysia and the Mekong River estuary, Vietnam. The system has already passed three tests here with “flying colours, eliminating all organisms”, Diederichsen notes.
He comments: “All of the tests so far – onboard and onshore – have demonstrated rock solid results. By that I mean, not near the threshold of compliance, but total efficacy. This shows what we’ve known all along, that the tried and tested process of pasteurization is THE best way to eliminate the potentially harmful invasive species carried in ballast water.”
BAWAT’s innovative system utilizes waste heat produced by a vessel’s engine (giving it low OPEX and ensuring green credentials) to heat the water. That is it. The process works from as low as 64 degrees centigrade and there is zero post treatment holding time. With a one-pass solution the treatment can be undertaken during a vessel’s voyage, leaving crews to focus on more essential tasks in ports (such as cargo handling and bunkering). As such it optimizes man-hour, as well as energy, efficiency.
“It really is that simple,” Diederichsen stresses. “We’ve been through the development phase, are sailing through testing and are now commercializing this revolutionary product. We’ve already signed a series of fleet agreements and have been shortlisted for many more. The shipowners we’re talking to are seeing this as a wake up call – ballast water compliance doesn’t have to be so difficult!
“With vessels now mandated to install ballast systems we believe we’ve timed this just right. The years to come will be very busy times for retrofitting, especially in 2021/22, and we have the system and organization ready and raring to go.”
The current USCG testing is being carried out onboard a 38.000 DWT container vessel, with DHI Denmark and Lloyds Register onboard as partners.
Transforming the market
Michael Andersen, R&D Manager at BAWAT, says the success of the testing will be replicated within a long-term operational context due to the simplicity of the pasteurization process.
“Pasteurization has been in use, particularly to eliminate bacteria in the food and beverage sector, for the past 150 years,” he states. “It’s a process that everyone can understand, is physical rather than chemical or mechanical, and is not affected whatsoever by water quality. There’s no consumables, no residue, no filter clogging or replacement issues, no expensive lamps – nothing to get in the way of carefree and effective operations.
“This is going to change the way people think about ballast water treatment. The USCG approval will give us the platform we need to really kick-start that process. There are exciting times ahead.”
Copenhagen-based BAWAT, which also offers a portside contingency/container solution, expects to obtain full USCG approval in the second half of 2019. The system is suitable for a wide variety of vessel types and is available with financial support from Denmark’s Export Credit Agency.