A total of 22 bulk carriers, being built by Yangzhou Guoyu Shipbuilding Co. Ltd in China for Singapore based Pioneer Marine, will feature Wärtsilä Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS). The Wärtsilä systems will enable the vessels to comply fully with the IMO’s ballast water convention. The contracts were finalised in August.
Each of the 38,000 DWT vessels will be fitted with two Wärtsilä AQUARIUS UV BWMS, and the scope of supply includes also the commissioning and sea trials of the equipment. The contracts thus involve a total of 44 Wärtsilä BWMS units, which represents the biggest ever single owner order to date for any BWMS manufacturer. It is expected that all 44 systems will be delivered before the end of 2015, with the first delivery scheduled for December 2014.
The Wärtsilä Aquarius UV is one of only four systems tested and approved for fresh water operation under the United States Coast Guard’s AMS (Alternative Management System) criteria. This approval was cited as being an important factor in Pioneer Marine’s decision process when selecting a BWMS supplier.
Whilst the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention, which will require the owners of up to 40,000 vessels worldwide to install a ballast water management system (BWMS), is still to be ratified, the US Coast Guard (USCG) has already implemented its own legislation.
This states that all ships will have to be in compliance with the regulations when sailing in US coastal waters. The intention of the legislation is to address the issue of invasive aquatic species being carried in the ballast water of ships and then discharged to the sea where they can harm local species. Wärtsilä’s AQUARIUS UV systems have been type approved for the IMO regulations.
“When looking for a ballast water treatment manufacturer, we wanted to partner with a company having a global presence and a recognized brand to support their products. It was critical that whomever we chose had a proven history in supporting their products. This is particularly relevant when looking at this piece of equipment as no one yet has USCG type approval, and we felt that with the weight of Wärtsilä behind it this will ensure our equipment complies within the time frame allotted,” said Stuart Crawford, Senior Vice President, Head of Technical, Pioneer Marine Advisers Pte Ltd.
The bulk carriers are based on the Green Dolphin design, a concept that meets current and anticipated air and water emission regulations.
“This is an important order and is indicative of the growing need for ballast water discharging to be properly managed. These vessels will operate in and around US waters, and it was imperative that the selected BWMS have the appropriate approvals. Wärtsilä has a strong track record in this field, and the components used have been used and thoroughly tested in the marine environment for many years,” said Dr. Joe Thomas, Director, Wärtsilä Ballast Water Management Systems.