UV ballast water treatment offers many advantages over electrochlorination. Yet there are also substantial differences between UV solutions. A growing number of customers, including MSC Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, are abandoning their selected UV treatment systems in favour of Alfa Laval PureBallast 3.
A ballast water treatment system is a major investment, but also one that is crucial for vessel operations. If the system is unable to comply as planned, the vessel’s ability to do business will be crippled. This has led some ship owners to replace their existing choice of UV ballast water treatment system with another UV technology: Alfa Laval PureBallast 3.
“We increasingly see owners with second thoughts about other UV solutions, even after those systems have been ordered,” says Anders Lindmark, Head of Alfa Laval PureBallast. “Customers want the peace of mind that PureBallast 3 offers, especially if they sail in United States waters.”
Systems on four vessels changed to PureBallast 3
Recently, two cruise ship owners took steps to exchange their procured UV ballast water treatment systems for PureBallast 3, which is type approved by both IMO and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). In both cases, the original system’s lack of USCG type approval was a decisive factor.
In an order for two newbuild vessels, MSC Cruises switched to PureBallast 3 Compact systems, which are delivered ready-assembled as skid-mounted modules. Each system will handle a flow of 170 m3/h. “After a retrofit project and installation on board our managed vessels, we have positive feedback from our crew about the simplicity of the installation and the very user-friendly system,” says Raffaele Pollio, Vice President Engine Operations at MSC Cruise Management Limited. “In addition, the USCG certification is what we really need, considering our vessels’ trading areas.”
Regent Seven Seas Cruises also modified orders for two newbuilds. The company will now install PureBallast 3 Compact Flex systems for 500 m3/h each, delivered as loose components. “USCG type approval is an important part of the technical specification,” says Paolo Mele, SVP Technical Operations at Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We have positive experience with Alfa Laval from retrofits in previous years, and Alfa Laval’s offer was competitive for the shipyard.”
Numerous reasons for turning to Alfa Laval
According to Anders Lindmark, USCG type approval is one of many reasons why customers are moving to PureBallast 3 from other UV treatment solutions. “If a system lacks USCG type approval, it limits the vessel’s freedom of movement,” he says. “But the same is true if it has poor filter performance, which can handicap the vessel in muddier waters. Many ship owners have experienced clogging with other systems, so they see an advantage in PureBallast 3, which has a high-end filter with enhanced cleaning capabilities.”
Switching to PureBallast 3 from other UV systems is generally easy, he adds, because its optimized design simplifies integration and installation. “The flexibility of PureBallast 3 minimizes the need for vessel modifications, and even maintenance space is well accounted for,” he explains. “That ensures both installation ease and later accessibility.”
Even more important for many customers is the access to service resources, which Alfa Laval provides through its own network – rather than through agents. “When customers choose PureBallast 3, they can rely on a complete global service organization, staffed by trained Alfa Laval service personnel,” says Lindmark. “They don’t have to turn to third parties, who may lack the insight, experience or reach to secure compliance. As the importance of long-term partnership grows more evident, that in itself can be a reason for switching to Alfa Laval.”