Bawat ballast water system receives US Coast Guard type approval

(COPENHAGEN) — One of the easiest to use and cost-effective ballast water treatment systems has been awarded type approval by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The system, from Danish company Bawat, is the only treatment system available to shipowners that relies on heat pasteurization to kill off potentially dangerous aquatic organisms in ballast water instead of expensive and hard to maintain filters, ultraviolet lights, electrolysis systems or active chemicals.

All ballast water treatment system makers need to get type approval to reassure shipowners that vessels have the ability to meet the tough requirements that are in place to try and stop the spread of aquatic invasive species around the world’s oceans.

“We are extremely pleased to have been awarded type approval by the U.S. Coast Guard which has one of the toughest approval processes,” said Marcus Hummer, chief executive, Bawat.

“Most shipowners seek cost-effective systems that have both the IMO type approval and the more stringent U.S. Coast Guard type approval to gain the reassurance that the technology works and their vessels can remain compliant of both international as well as local rules. A vessel without U.S. Coast Guard type approval, even if not operating in U.S. waters immediately, will certainly lack future flexibility to do so."

The Bawat system was awarded type approval according the updated standards set by the International Maritime Organization in late 2019, making it now one of only a handful that have both approvals.

The Bawat technology is unique in that there are no filters which need cleaning when clogged, there are no UV bulbs, which can break and often perform badly if the water is turbid, and there are no active substances or other chemicals which need to be continually purchased, stored and handled on board.

It is also the only treatment technology that works with only a single straight-forward pass of the ballast water through the system.

For vessels on time-sensitive operational profiles, this is a winning factor as it gives ship operators flexibility to treat the ballast water when it suits during the vessel’s voyage. Other systems on the market require the ballast water to be treated either during loading or discharge, or both, potentially influencing port stay times.

Hummer also pointed out that the technology is highly cost-effective in that it is designed to use a ship’s own waste heat to pasteurize the ballast water rather than rely on vast amounts of electricity to be generated on board.

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By Professional Mariner Staff