Damen Shipyards Group has introduced the Ballast Water Pre Filtration Barge (BWPF) to assist vessels in complying with the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention. The barge is designed to go alongside a vessel at a terminal and filter the sediment before ballast water is taken aboard. 

Many ports located on rivers throughout the world experience a sediment level significantly higher than the level onboard ballast water treatment systems are tested to. Damen Green Solutions product portfolio manager Matthijs Schuiten explains: ‘The level to which onboard systems are tested, demonstrates an ability to handle sediment levels up to 50 mg per litre. However, at some terminals, this level is exceeded – sometimes considerably. We recently ran tests on a waterway in the US close to a harbour, for example, and found sediment levels thirty times above this.’

Notable cases of important waterways that exceed the level to which onboard systems are tested include the Huangpu Jiang in Shanghai, the River Thames in London and the Red and Mississippi rivers in the US.

‘Such high levels of sediment can cause ballast water filter blockage,’ Schuiten continues. ‘This can make for huge operational challenges, preventing cargo unloading or ballast water intake.’

Filtering out sediment

Damen’s BWPF Barge removes this sediment before it goes on board. ‘Pre-filtering the water in this manner ensures the ballast water system onboard is not blocked due to sediment. Having such capabilities enables terminals to add value with an additional service for calling vessels. With the IMO legislation’s passage into law, we expect to see demand for such services in the near future. Developing the BWPF Barge is Damen’s way of making sure that, when the need arises, we are prepared to respond quickly.’

Fitted in standard 40′ container

The BWPF Barge can process up to 4000 cubic metres of water per hour with a sediment level anything between 50 and 1500 mg per litre. Filtration is available between 10 and 50 micron, to suit varying sediment sizes. The entire ballast water filtration system fits neatly inside a standard 40’ container, making logistics straightforward.