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Wednesday, December 5, 2018 

According to Alfa Laval there are substantial differences between Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS) solutions, not only between UV and electrochlonination types, but between different UV systems.

This, the company reports, is resulting in some users, including MSC Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, abandoning previously-selected UV treatment systems in favour of its PureBallast 3.

The company points out that if a BWTS is unable to comply as planned, the vessel’s ability to do business will be crippled. “We increasingly see owners with second thoughts about other UV solutions, even after those systems have been ordered,” said Anders Lindmark, Head of Alfa Laval PureBallast. “Customers want the peace of mind that PureBallast 3 offers, especially if they sail in US waters.”

Recently, two cruise ship owners took steps to exchange their procured UV BWTS for PureBallast 3, which is type approved by both IMO and the US Coast Guard (USCG). In both cases, the original system’s lack of USCG type approval was a decisive factor.

In an order for two newbuild vessels, MSC Cruises switched to PureBallast 3 Compact systems, which are delivered ready-assembled as skid-mounted modules. Each system will handle a flow of 170 m3/h. “After a retrofit project and installation on board our managed vessels, we have positive feedback from our crew about the simplicity of the installation and the very user-friendly system,” said Raffaele Pollio, VP Engine Operations at MSC Cruise Management Limited. “In addition, the USCG certification is what we really need, considering our vessels’ trading areas.”

Regent Seven Seas Cruises also modified orders for two newbuilds. The company will now install PureBallast 3 Compact Flex systems for 500 m3/h each, delivered as loose components. “USCG type approval is an important part of the technical specification,” said Paolo Mele, SVP Technical Operations at Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We have positive experience with Alfa Laval from retrofits in previous years, and Alfa Laval’s offer was competitive for the shipyard.”

Lindmark added: “If a system lacks USCG type approval, it limits the vessel’s freedom of movement. But the same is true if it has poor filter performance, which can handicap the vessel in muddier waters. Many ship owners have experienced clogging with other systems, so they see an advantage in PureBallast 3, which has a high-end filter with enhanced cleaning capabilities.”

Switching to PureBallast 3 from other UV systems is generally easy, he said. “The flexibility of PureBallast 3 minimises the need for vessel modifications, and even maintenance space is well accounted for. That ensures both installation ease and later accessibility.”

Lindmark referred to Alfa Laval's own service network, rather than agents. “When customers choose PureBallast 3, they can rely on a complete global service organization, staffed by trained Alfa Laval service personnel. They don’t have to turn to third parties, who may lack the insight, experience or reach to secure compliance.”

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