We have reached an agreement with DESMI for the supply of their "CompactClean" ballast water management systems to be installed on our entire fleet. Our ongoing new building project m/v MOHICAN will be the first vessel to be fitted with BWTS by the end of 2018.
It was quite a challenge for us to study and compare various types and brands of ballast water treatment systems to be fitted on our entire fleet. Million dollar investment means no room for mistakes.
Initially we have studied pros and cons between UV systems and Electro-chlorination systems and ended up with UV types which do not have any salinity or temperature limitations since our fleet sails into rivers and icy waters. Then it was a long process to deeply analyze various UV systems both with low pressure and medium pressure lamp technologies. We have focused mainly on the following key factors;
1) Reliability of the maker:
It is obvious that there are many BWMS makers in the market popped up like mushrooms to get some shares from the big cake of about 65000 ships those need to install BWTS within 3 to 4 years. Afterwards all these makers will need to survive only with new building projects. One can easily estimate that the majority of them will disappear within not a very long time frame. Having more than 180 years of history, we rely on DESMI to be in the market also in the future.
2) Ease of operation:
We believe that it is much easier to install a new system onboard of a ship then operating it smoothly when you leave it to the hands of ship’s crew. Especially if it may turn out to be the risk of heavy penalties for the ship owner. One of the features of DESMI’s CompactClean system that we really like is the dry-running protection backed up with a recirculation system by the backflush pump which comes standard and can also be used as a stripping pump during stripping of ballast tanks; means much less risk of interruption during de-ballasting operations. All of the medium pressure UV lamp systems heat up very quickly if they start running dry or with less water in the UV chamber than the minimum flow requirements. All of them have the feature of protection against high temperatures which basically shut downs the system immediately. Then they require 5 to 10 minutes or even longer cooling down and starting period again, and this may turn out to be a never ending interruptions and delays especially during stripping operations.
3) Capex and Opex:
A cheaper initial price tag may attract many people but then operating the system may cost you much more. Since all of these BWM systems are certified as complete system, you will be in the mercy of the maker for the remaining 20 or more years of operation. When we make our price comparison we also take into account the total cost of energy consumption and cost of all spare parts from the cheapest o-rings to the expensive filter baskets need to be replaced within the next 15 years of operation. We can say that DESMI is found as one of the most fair companies when it the comes to the cost of the spare parts.
4) Foot print:
Our ships are on specific trade which requires very low air draft, means highly congested engine room with lack of space. It is also another challenge for us to install BWMS to our older fleet those will require almost complete rearrangement of ballast piping and replacement of existing ballast pumps. We found DESMI’s CompactClean system having one of the smallest foot print in the market, fits perfectly into our crowded engine rooms.