Wärtsilä has received an important service level recognition for its Wärtsilä Airguard and Wärtsilä Oceanguard propeller shaft sealing systems from Lloyd’s Register. The recognition of Lloyd’s Register, a marine classification society, confirms that the sealing systems meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) requirements. Wärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions and services provider and a pioneer in environmentally sustainable sealing solutions, is the first company in the industry to gain this recognition from Lloyd’s Register.
In March 2014, Wärtsilä announced that its Wärtsilä Airguard and Wärtsilä Oceanguard seal products can continue to utilise mineral oil since they meet the guidelines set out in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 revised Vessel General Permit. As the Wärtsilä Airguard and Wärtsilä Oceanguard seals meet the defined regulatory prerequisites, owners and operators of commercial vessels of over 79ft (24 metres), sailing within US waters with either of these systems installed are not required to change to an Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant (EAL).
The Lloyds’ Register’s service level recognition, received on 22 May 2014, confirms that Wärtsilä’s Airguard and Oceanguard are well suited for their intended purpose and meet the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 revised Vessel General Permit (VGP) requirements of Part 2.2.9 under normal operating conditions.
Prior to the approval, Lloyd’s Register conducted a desktop review where the product details were reviewed to establish whether the seal presents an “oil to sea” interface in normal operation. The results showed that the Wärtsilä Airguard and Oceanguard propeller shaft seals are able to be used with mineral oils and a range of environmentally acceptable lubricants as defined within the US EPA VGP 2013. Furthermore, it was stated that the Wärtsilä Airguard and Oceanguard propeller shaft seals are unlikely to leak mineral oils into the sea during normal operating conditions.
Increasing demand for technologically advanced seals
Ship owners focus increasingly on improving lifecycle cost management. The demands on components such as seals is shifting towards higher level, technologically advanced products that can offer a longer service life to compensate for their higher initial cost. Another key driver in the marine industry is environmental legislation. For ship operators, new regulations could mean not only financial and legislative consequences, but also being completely banned from certain regions unless their vessels are upgraded to comply with the new regulations. Consequently, there is a growing demand for higher performance seals that offer better reliability, biodegradable lubricants, as well as completely water-lubricated systems that can guarantee zero pollution. As the seals and bearings solution provider with the widest range of products, both oil and water lubricated, Wärtsilä is uniquely positioned to offer ship owners solutions that improve lifecycle efficiency and meet regulatory requirements.
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