Evoqua Water Technologies is upgrading its SeaCURE system production facility in Caldicot, Wales, to meet market demand for ballast water treatment systems, as shipowners look to comply with the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention this coming September.
The upgrade will enable Evoqua to expand production of fully assembled SeaCURE BWTS skids. In addition to the expanded capabilities in Caldicot, additional production capacity will be provided by partners who will be licensed to build the SeaCURE system.
“Over the next five years, ballast water system suppliers could struggle to meet demand if they fail to invest in their production and supply lines,” said Chris Thomas, director of Operations, Evoqua (UK). “The investments will mean that shipowners and shipyards will not have to worry about long lead times, which could delay installation and commissioning schedules, resulting in vessel off-hire.”
The investment in Evoqua’s production plant includes a new compressed air system, dedicated welding bays and upgraded testing facilities, while component and assembly lines and warehouse capacity have been optimised utilising LEAN processes to streamline production and delivery.
Matt Granitto, business manager, Ballast Water, Evoqua (USA), said, “Roughly 4000 vessels have been fitted with a treatment system to date, leaving about 30,000 vessels needing to retrofit an effective solution within the next five years. With concerns having already been raised about a potential supply and installation bottleneck, shipowners and yards do need to plan ahead and make sure that suppliers can deliver on time. The investments we have made will allow us meet the market requirement.”
The US-headquartered water treatment specialist is also nearing the market introduction of its next generation electrochlorination cell technology – the core component of its dual-function SeaCURE ballast water management system.
“We have over fifty years’ of knowledge and expertise in electrochlorination-based water treatment and have been able to perfect the technology, so while other suppliers are still proving their systems we are now optimising the system and looking at standardising production,” added Granitto.
To ready itself for that first wave of BWMS orders, Evoqua has honed its technology to reduce the system footprint to meet customer requirements.
“We’ve drastically improved the size of the system which is now one of the smallest electrochlorination-based ballast water units on the market. We have adapted it as a modular system, reducing components and installation time and complexity,” said Granitto, adding that operation and service simplicity has been the key driver behind the optimization.