First ballast water treatment for tankers

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In the first move for ballast water treatment for the tanker sector, Alfa Laval’s chemical-free ballast water treatment, PureBallast, is to be installed on two new bitumen tankers for petroleum product supplier Nynas.

One of Europe’s leading suppliers of bitumen, Nynas’ two petroleum tankers are to be built at China’s Wuhan Nanhua Huanggang Jiangbei Shipyard, scheduled for delivery in 2010, and will pave the future for ballast water solutions onboard tankers.

In greater vigilance to environmental standards, Nynas chose to analyse the pending IMO requirements, including the possibility of ballast water exchange, which can allow newbuilds to avoid treatment during the first years of operation.

Björn Karlsson, who will oversee the newbuilds as Group Shipping Manager for Nynas, said: “With such a large investment, it felt important to choose a solution with a proven ability to meet IMO demands. Even if ballast water treatment is not required at first, an investment now makes more sense than an expensive conversion down the road.”

Revealing that “shipyards are often uneasy when it comes to installing new technology,” Mr Karlsson added that Nynas and Alfa Laval were compelled to spend considerable time working together in the adaptation of the PureBallast system to accommodate for the hazardous conditions of a bitumen tanker.

“This solution is a pioneering effort, and one that will open up possibilities for other petroleum tankers,” he added, indicating that the modifications the PureBallast systems had to undergo will broaden the future for ballast water systems in the tanker sector, despite the additional risks incurred.