Alfa Laval launch ballast water treatment system

Alfa Laval, the market leader in separation, heat transfer and freshwater generation, has released PureBallast, the first viable system for preventing the transport of potentially invasive species via ballast water.

The historic launch was marked by a symposium in Greenwich, England, at which top representatives of the global shipping industry were gathered.

Alfa Laval chose Greenwich, England – a site forever associated with the marine chronometer – for the release of PureBallast, its groundbreaking and chemical-free system for ballast water treatment.

PureBallast, whose technology was developed in cooperation with Wallenius Water, arrives more than two years in advance of International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations to prevent the transport of potentially invasive species.

The system, which forms the crowning jewel in the growing Alfa Laval environmental portfolio, was presented today at a PureBallast Symposium at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

In attendance were leading figures from the global shipping industry, as well as officials from IMO and DNV.

The symposium, which was a full-day event, featured presentations and keynote addresses from DNV, Wallenius Marine and Alfa Laval.

The problem of invasive species has long been a matter of international focus.

Species transported via ballast water from one ecosystem to another have devastated marine life, collapsed local businesses and economies, and necessitated billions of dollars in control measures.

IMO legislation designed to combat the problem is set to take effect in 2009.

Until now, however, no treatment system has been commercially viable or able to meet the proposed requirements without chemicals.

“The PureBallast chemical-free technology is unique,” says Peter Carlberg, General Manager of Alfa Laval Marine and Diesel, “in that it solves this environmental problem without contributing to another”.

The choice of Greenwich for the launch of PureBallast was no coincidence.

The village, now part of London, was the site at which John Harrison fixed his measurements of longitude when he invented the marine chronometer.

While PureBallast is designed to protect the world’s oceans rather than help in navigating them, its impact on the shipping industry has the potential to be as sweeping and as positive as the chronometer was, in its time.

“The launch of a viable, chemical-free ballast water treatment system is as critical for the industry as it is for the world’s fragile marine ecosystems,” says Carlberg: “Now that PureBallast is commercially available, shipyards and ship owners can finally begin ensuring their compliance with the stringent IMO regulations soon to take effect”.

Like other products in the Alfa Laval environmental portfolio, PureBallast is compact and designed for real-life conditions at sea.

While removing micro-organisms to IMO-compliant levels without the use of chemicals, it accommodates the short and long-term needs of shipyards, ship owners and ship operators.

“In developing PureBallast together with Wallenius Water, we’ve been careful to look at both local and global requirements,” says Carlberg: “Though the transport of invasive species in ballast water is a worldwide issue, it is individual ships that must carry the solution.

Simple installation, a small footprint, operating economy and ease of use are all essential factors that are just as important as IMO compliance”.

PureBallast, which has met the stringent IMO ballast water requirements in pilot tests supervised by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), is well underway with the year-long official approval process.

Moreover, its ability to perform at sea has already been confirmed in three years of full-scale on-board tests, in one of the ships of the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics line.

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