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Panagiotis Dimakopoulos*: Reasons to do Retrofit with SunRui BalClor BWMS


With the outcome of the MEPC 71 and with the guidelines from USCG regarding the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Extension Program, things have become significantly less blurry (than they used to be) for an Owner, in order to properly plan and prepare for the installation of a Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) to the existing vessels of his fleet.

After the time table for the installation dates has been decided and fixed, then it all comes to the question with which Maker to proceed.

The selection of a Maker is certainly not an easy task, as there are many parameters to be examined and put in comparison. Each vessel has specific available space, certain power supply, particular ballast pumps capacity demand etc. which means that every Retrofit Project is unique. For sure there is not any BWMS in the Market, which will be the best solution for all the cases. Therefore, the key for a Maker was to design and produce a system which would be the best solution for the vast majority of the cases and that was also the aim of SunRui while developing BalClor BWMS.

SunRui Marine Environment Engineering Company is a wholly owned subsidiary company of China Shipbuilding Industry Company Limited (CSIC). SunRui is an integrated engineering company developed from a research institute built up in 1961, initially engaged with Chinese Navy/Military Projects and nowadays occupied with research, design, manufacture, engineering and project contracting of corrosion control, seawater desalination, electro-chlorination and exhaust gas treatment technologies as well as products. SunRui has her headquarter located in Qingdao, a branch company in Shanghai and oversea offices in Tokyo, Singapore and Hamburg.

SunRui has more than 30 years’ research and practical experience on seawater electro-chlorination technology and has successfully undertaken sodium hypochlorite generation projects for 12 nuclear power stations and more than 100 power plants, chemical plants and marine platforms. SunRui’s BalClor Ballast Water Management System is developed on the basis of land-based electro-chlorination technology.

SunRui BalClor BWMS is an environmental friendly and highly efficient system. Principle of this system is to electrolyze seawater directly to produce high concentrated sodium hypochlorite solution. The Treatment is performed only during the ballasting process, by Filtration and Side-Stream Electrolysis. For short voyages and during the de-ballasting process, there is also the Neutralization of the ballast water. SunRui has been evolving and perfecting subject technology for all these years, making BalClor BWMS ideal for a Retrofit Project for many reasons, such as:

BalClor BWMS has received Type Approval Certificates by DNV-GL, CCS, LR, NK, BV, ABS, RINA and Liberian Registry. Moreover, on early June 2017 the final USCG Type Approval Certificate has been acquired. Regarding the IMO New G8 Type Approval Certificate, all the relevant testing has already been done by DNV-GL in 2016 and the IMO Type Approval Certificate will be renewed very soon, fulfilling the requirements of the revised G8 Guidelines.

Logistics Cost
The installation cost of a BWMS to the Shipyard, as well as the customs clearance cost and the transportation cost from the Maker’s Premises to the Shipyard, are all significant costs to be considered. The cheapest location to install a BWMS to an existing vessel will be definitely a Chinese Shipyard. SunRui is based in Qingdao, China, so it is very easy to imagine the huge cost savings, which are gained with the selection of SunRui BalClor BWMS in comparison to having to ship a BWMS to China from another country.

Production Capacity – Delivery Time
When the Owner places the order, there is the need to trust a Maker who will deliver the system on time. SunRui has a clear plan: the Production will be increased from 500 to 1000 Units per Year, so as to cover the increased demand for retrofitting and guarantee that the Delivery Time will be met.

Experience with Retrofit Projects
SunRui has already successfully undertaken the Retrofit Projects from the 3D Scan and Design Stage for more than 30 vessels of various types (such as Tankers, Bulk Carriers, Container Vessels, Car Carriers) and finished 3D scanning & modeling for more than 200 ships. For example, BalClor BWMS was recently successfully installed into 2 VLCC vessels of a major Japanese Owner, in Singapore.

The Safety of the Crew and the Vessel are obviously the No 1 importance. An explosion of a BWMS inside the Engine Room can generate serious issues. The de-gas technology of SunRui system has been used in Nuclear Power Plants in China and the relevant strict Safety Standards are met.

Limited Space
BalClor BWMS has very flexible Design and very small Footprint. The Module can be separated into several parts, which is convenient when the available installation space is limited. Also, for many cases, only 1 Electrolysis Unit covering the total demand from the ballast pumps will be installed (saving also cost).

Cost effective solutions for Bulk Carriers
There are Bulk Carriers having time to ballast with only one pump, but they need to de-ballast quickly with both pumps running. BalClor BWMS can fulfil this requirement and save the cost for the Owner, as an Electrolysis Unit for only one ballast pump will be provided and the Neutralization Unit will cover the de-ballasting of the 2 pumps (via 2 lines).

Cost effective solutions for Tankers
The Pump Room usually has very limited space for the all the components of the system. That is why when installing the BalClor BWMS, only the Filters will be installed inside the Pump Room and the rest components will be placed in the Engine Room. The connections will be done via piping of small diameter.

Remarks from USCG
When USCG issues a final Type Approval Certificate, they put various Remarks at the front page (or at the Appendix). For example, there are Remarks about the Temperature - Salinity Operational Limitations and the Hold Time. Basis these Remarks, SunRui BalClor BWMS is able to successfully operate in every environment, independent of the Salinity and Temperature of the ballast water (for low Salinity and low Temperature Areas, this can be accomplished with the assistance of the After Peak Tank Solution and the Heat Exchanger of the system, respectively). There is also no Hold Time Remark, which means that an Owner can ballast, treat and de-ballast instantly.

The cost of a BWMS depends on the Sum of Capex+Opex+Maintenance Cost. If only the Capex Cost is taken into consideration, this will certainly lead into wrong conclusions. SunRui BalClor BWMS in the majority of the cases is the most cost efficient solution for a Retrofit Project, as the Sum of Capex+Opex+Maintenance Cost is definitely lower than the competition.

Power Consumption
BalClor BWMS has very low power consumption and for sure no additional generator will be required in order to cover the power demand of the system. The Treatment is done only during ballasting.

Treated Capacities
BalClor Models are approved to cover Maximum Treatment Rated Capacities within the range 170 m3/h up to 8500 m3/h.

Heat Exchanger
The side stream technology allows the installation of a Heat Exchanger at the feeding line of the Electrolysis Unit. When the temperature drops below a specific value, the Heat Exchanger will be applied, resulting in a flawless operation of the system and ensuring significantly lower power consumption.

H2 Removal
Whereas with the full flow systems the Hydrogen produced during the Treatment cannot be removed completely from the ballast line, with SunRui BalClor BWMS the Hydrogen can be separated from the seawater, diluted so as to become nonflammable and then released to the atmosphere via piping. The efficiency of subject De-Gas Unit, the technology of which is derived from the Nuclear Power Plants and other Land Applications of SunRui, guarantees that no accidents will occur.

Modification - Piping
With the full flow systems all the components have to be installed in the main piping line. Apart from the space as a limitation, much more work is required to make the Modification for Retrofitting (it is more difficult to handle DN500 pipes than DN60 pipes). With SunRui BalClor BWMS the Modification is very simple and all the components have to be connected with DN50/60 piping. Also, big pipes (DN500) should be prepared in advance and in case something goes wrong with their prefabrication, the installation can be delayed – if needed, small pipes (DN60) can be gauged and produced on-site saving valuable time and cost.

Pressure Loss
While cutting the main ballast line, this will result in a Pressure Loss and the performance of the ballasting process will be affected. With BalClor BWMS only the filters have to be installed in the main ballast pipe, so the Pressure Loss is minimal.

After Peak Tank Solution
With SunRui BalClor BWMS only a very small quantity of seawater has to be stored inside the After Peak Tank, in case the vessel needs to ballast in a low salinity Area.

The Proven Technology of SunRui had been developed first for Industrial Applications and prior the decision from IMO to adopt the BWM Convention. Therefore there is vast experience with Electrolysis Procedure (exceeding 30 years).

Filter Suppliers
There are three Filter Suppliers for the Owner to choose and all of them have successfully passed the USCG testing.

Risk Assessment
BalClor System has successfully passed Risk Assessment from LR and Bio-Tests from Independent Laboratories, having been requested from reputable Owners.

Filter Clogging
As smaller the filter mess size (40 μm, 30 μm, 20 μm etc.) is the greater chances for a BWMS to experience Filter Clogging issues. SunRui has been using 50 μm Filters, in order to prevent subject issue from showing up.

Operational Cost
As an electrolysis technology system, BalClor BWMS produces the disinfectant from the seawater, so the Owner does not have to trace and supply chemicals on board, keeping the OPEX cost at a very low level.

Maintenance Cost
All the BWMS will require spare parts and related maintenance fees. For the 2 dominating technologies (UV and Electrolysis), the major contribution to the maintenance cost is derived by the replacement of the core components i.e. the UV Bulbs and the Electrodes, respectively. Since SunRui BalCor BWMS uses Electrolysis technology, of course there are not any UV Bulbs to be replaced. Regarding the Electrodes of BalClor BWMS, it is very important to underline that similar Electrodes are being used from SunRui in Nuclear Power Plants, where they work continuously for 5 years/24 hours per day. As it is not expected from a vessel to operate the BWMS every day but to perform a certain number of ballasting operations per year, the Electrodes of BalClor BWMS are expected to cover the whole Service Life of the vessel. This is a very important long-term Benefit (in comparison with other Electrolysis technology systems for which the very expensive Electrodes will have to be replaced) and results in keeping the Maintenance Cost at a very low level.

SunRui provides training to the crew upon commissioning of the system. There is also a Training Program, which can be provided to the Owners representatives at SunRui Premises in Qingdao, China.

After Sales – Service Support
SunRui has a fast growing and extended Overseas Service Network, which can provide assistance to the Owner.

Package Solution
SunRui offers a Package solution for Retrofit Projects including Equipment Manufacture, Project Management, Onboard (3D) Scanning, Detailed Engineering and Design, Classification Approval, Preparation of the Working Drawings and of the Material List for the Installation, Onboard Supervision-System Commissioning and Crew Training upon Installation.

Concluding, SunRui BalClor BWMS is the right choice for a Retrofit Project as it offers many critical advantages to the Owner. Since September 2015, Marine Plus is the Exclusive Agent of BalClor BWMS for the Greek Market and will ensure that each inquiry for the installation of the system will be handled with priority and will meet the full attention of SunRui.


"After running BalClor BWMS onboard of our three ships, Venus Leader, NYK Argus and Taharoa Providence, for more than 4 years, we are very pleased with the performance of the system and its consistency.”
Capt. Koichi Akamine, former Senior Managing Cooperate Officer of NYK Line.

NYK Line, one of the oldest and largest shipping companies worldwide that operates a fleet of about 800 ships including containerships, tankers, bulk and woodchip carriers, Ro-Ro car carriers, reefer vessels, LNG and cruise ships, is another reputable Owner included in the Reference List of SunRui BalClor BWMS.

* Sales Dept.Technical Advisor Marine Plus SA

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