US Coast Guard approves Ocean Protection System

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MAHLE_headquarter_day_cmyk_300dpiThe United States Coast Guard has certified MAHLE’s Ocean Protection System (OPS) as an approved ballast water treatment system for North American waters and ports in accordance with the currently valid regulations.

With the system from MAHLE, internationally operating shipping companies not only comply with North American provisions, but also with the globally applicable International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations. The Hamburg shipping company Hamburg Süd has again decided in favor of OPS from MAHLE, where it will be used on the new ships to be built by the South Korean shipyard DSME.

In February, the United States Coast Guard endorsed OPS as an Alternate Management System (AMS) and thus certified it in accordance with the currently valid regulations for North American waters and ports. From 2014 or 2016, ships in this region are obliged to have an approved ballast water treatment system onboard, depending on their ballast water capacity and age. Ship ballast water often transports “blind passengers” such as fish, crabs, worms, bacteria, or viruses to other regions. As a consequence, they might cause great damage to local ecosystems and—in extreme cases—endanger human lives.

This certification is further proof of efficiency for MAHLE’s innovative ballast water treatment system. In recent years, MAHLE has successfully put a number of OPS systems into operation and registered additional orders from German and Asian customers.

The mechanical-physical ballast water treatment system Ocean Protection System (OPS) from MAHLE Industry consists of a two-stage filtration (preliminary and main filter) and UV disinfection using special low-pressure radiation. Initially, the ballast water is filtered when the tanks are flooded, discarding any “blind passengers” such as fish, crabs, and worms. The additional UV radiation renders microorganisms harmless without the need for chemical additives. This specially adapted filtration and disinfection is characterized by low operating costs, easy operation, long maintenance intervals, and safe onboard operation. The MAHLE bilge water oil separator and MAHLE automatic filter for heavy fuel oil and fuels have similar positive properties, establishing them as standards in marine engineering.

In the meantime, many shipping companies have come to rely on MAHLE’s tried and tested OPS technologies. Because not only do they meet the prevailing provisions in North America, but they also undercut the globally applicable thresholds of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for organisms and sediments in ballast water. The aim is to equip the global merchant fleet with ballast water treatment systems by 2016 at the latest.