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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ballast water treatment technology wins INTERTANKO’s Environmental Challenge

The Panel of Judges for the INTERTANKO Environmental Challenge has reviewed the short list of entries put before them by the association’s Environmental Committee and has selected a winner. The winning entry was announced by INTERTANKO Chairman Lars Carlsson at INTERTANKO’s Dubai Tanker Event, during the Welcome Reception sponsored by the Green Award Foundation.

The three short-listed entries were Teekay Shipping (Japan) Ltd with its Natural Ballast Water Exchange; NEI Treatment Systems Inc with its Venturi Oxygen Stripping System; Dr Timothy Gunner and Bjarne Thygesen with their VOCON Procedure.

The winner is NEI Treatment Systems with its Venturi Oxygen Stripping System. This offers a safe, reliable, cost-effective ballast water treatment system for ocean-going vessels, which eliminates the introduction of invasive organisms while simultaneously protecting the vessel’s ballast tanks against corrosion. By mixing very low-oxygen inert gas into ballast water as it moves through the ballast system, the system removes 95% of the dissolved oxygen from the water in seconds, with no flow rate limit, leaving it to arrive in the ballast tanks in a deoxygenated state. Harmful aquatic organisms are suffocated within hours. Despite its technological complexity the system is mechanically simple and will be no more time-consuming to operate than existing ballast management systems.

This concept has been introduced at a time when regulators and ship operators are looking for effective and practical ballast water treatment systems to enable their vessels to comply with upcoming IMO ballast water regulations. “Laboratory and pilot-scale biological testing indicate that this treatment results in the discharge of ballast water that will meet IMO standards,” says NEI’s President Peter McNulty, who responds to industry concerns that there might not be a shipboard-ready technology available to meet IMO deadlines. A twelve month corrosion test will be completed next month. Preliminary results indicate up to 80% lower corrosion in test panels.

“INTERTANKO encourages quality investments and environmental responsibility from its members and other stake holders in the shipping industry,” says Carlsson.

“I am delighted that the Environmental Challenge can reward such a positive project as NEI’s Venturi Oxygen Stripping System. The whole process has contributed to a world where the shipping industry is taking a larger share of the responsibility for the energy transportation business of which we are so proud.”

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