Interview with ALFA LAVAL Greece by Dimitris Poulos Manager Marine Adriatic Region ALFA LAVAL and Vaggelis Papalaios Manager Ballast Systems ALFA LAVAL Greece.
NAFS: Recently, U.S Coast Guard (USCG) approved the third generation of PureBallast. Could you pls explain what this approval practically means for Alfa Laval?
Dimitris Poulos: On 23rd of December we finally received the US Coast Guard Type Approval for PureBallast 3! It is a great achievement and put us in a perfect position in the BWM retrofit market, where customers are moving for making decisions about solutions and suppliers for their BWMS retrofit installations! We have the USCG certificate and a market leading IMO performance! We can be proud facing the customers now, offering them a solution that will offer them the best available compliance solution for both IMO and USCG requirements.We are one of two or maximum three suppliers with USCG TA and the only with global marine sales and service presence.
NAFS: After that welcome development, it is obvious that PureBallast is a confident choice of treatment technology for the shipowners who deballast in United States. Would you like to say few words to your active and potential customers?
Dimitris Poulos: As with the BWM Convention, the USCG Final Rule requires vessels to install and operate a type-approved treatment system before deballasting into United States waters. However, the USCG’s type approvalprocess is stricter and more rigorous than the one currently laid out in the BWM Convention. In addition to more stringent shipboard tests, it includes landbased testing according to the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) protocol of the U.S. EPA. As a result, many existing systems with IMO type approval may fail to meet USCG type approval requirements, and will therefore require retesting or redesign. With all the above, we understand that customers need a global marine supplier that invest a lot not only on the technology and quality of the technical equipment but also to the continuous monitoring of the progress of regulations and the reliability that this that is offered will be compliant with the upcoming changes of regulations especially on the US waters. Alfa Laval has a vision to be positioned as one of the major marine suppliers globally and PureBallast will be the flag to succeed this. So we are obliged to look in the long term, to be predictable about the new regulations coming and to invest on that. Alfa Laval is one of the few BWT suppliers that have the size and assets to follow with reliability and consistency this progress and to ensure shipowners that always will provide solutions in every aspect that will occur.
NAFS: Therefore Alfa Laval holds both USCG and IMO type approvals. Could you please picture Alfa Laval’s future regarding decisions and actions about biological disinfection performance in shipping?
Vaggelis Papalaios: Dear Pano, thank you for placing this question. The biological disinfection performance of a BWT systems is a critical issue for the shipping industry and a major asset for our PureBallast. Since 2015, we have all witnessed the USCG’s decisions not to accept for the time being the systems’ testing method by MPN and insist on the CMFDA/FDA. PureBallast is the only system having being tested and certified under both MPN and CMFDA/FDA methods. Therefore, we do not believe that our PureBallast has to be afraid of any future decision or actions that could challenge its biological disinfection performance. On the contrary, we believe and hope that the use of an MPN-based
method to evaluate mixed assemblages of organisms in ballast water is going to be soon validated by Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) technical panel. United states have commented in official paper PPR4/7 to IMO that “A version of the MPN-Dilution-Culture Motility Method is currently undergoing a review within the Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Program in the United States. This verification assessment will evaluate the method through trials in multiple locations”. If the panel finds an MPN method to be acceptable, USCG will have to make a policy decision or rulemaking to incorporate the EPA approved method. It should be noted that MEPC 70 agreed to that viable organisms mean organisms that have the ability to successfully generate new individuals in order to reproduce the species. The MPN method is designed to measure organisms ability to generate new individuals. The MPN method is undergoing a serious evaluation and it is likely that it will be approved. Alfa Laval is looking forward to future decisions and actions on performance and feels confident that will anticipate.
NAFS: The PureBallast 3 family is prepared for the revised IMO G8 guidelines. How possible is to get an update G8 certificate during 2017?
Vaggelis Papalaios: The PureBallast 3 gap analysis to be compliant with the new revised IMO G8 testing guidelines has been confirmed by DNV GL and DHI (independent test facility). In order to have an IMO certificate according to the revised G8 guidelines, we will have to conduct two land-based biological efficacy tests in each salinity at a minimum hold-time. We also need to prove that PureBallast 3 biological efficacy is not impacted by really low temperatures (+2 C). The later will be proven during a witnessed bench-scale test in Tumba. We already last summer secured a slot at the testing site for March 1st 2017, to be able to be among the first manufactures to have a revised G8 Type Approval Certificate. The goal is to have the certificate by July 1st, Friday the week before MEPC 71 commence.
NAFS: Further to those good news, do you think that Alfa Laval is well prepared for the increased demand triggered by the ratification of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention?
Dimitris Poulos: Alfa Laval has invested a lot of assets in the Pure- Ballast. Not only in R&D and product resources but also Operation Managers in order to provide competitive delivery times and a normal supply chain independently of the demand. Alfa Laval operates more than 25 factories and has a very good experience on managing the turbulent marine market as it concerns variable demand. Already there is a preparation with factory capacity in Soborg of Denmark and the relevant sub suppliers in order to be able to provide in the market about 2000 systems per year.There is a preparation that last three years as the ratification was expected earlier and is coming finally actively on September 2017. Alfa Laval has the size and the assets to fulfil any demand not only in the production but also on the project management of the installations and commisioning of them.
NAFS: Apart from the technology offered, what other vessel-adapted solutions with high efficiency and well developed service can Alfa Laval provide?
Dimitris Poulos: PureBallast 3.1 has a compact and highly flexible construction that facilitates installation in an existing space. But most importantly, Alfa Laval has the hands-on knowledge and proven working procedures to adapt it for any vessel. These have been refined during a decade of work with retrofit installations. Alfa Laval employs a comprehensive and flexible approach to retrofit project management. This allows customization of each project to meet ship owner requirements, vessel specifications and the necessary timeline. A retrofit project can be tailored to an individual vessel or an entire fleet, and installation can be performed while docked at a shipyard or during a voyage. Alfa Laval can work with the ship owner’s own engineering department and chosen yard, or can secure all necessary competencies from within the Alfa Laval network. Engineering support, 3D laser scanning, class approval and more can be arranged, as well as total solutions. Crew training, budgeting assistance and financing options are also available. Every PureBallast 3.1 retrofit project is unique. The following steps are generally included, but each is customized to meet the vessel’s needs and particular circumstances:
• Evaluation of existing ballast layout
• Preliminary onboard survey
• Onboard survey combined with 3D scanning
• Order of system
• Detailed design
• Class approval
• Prefabrication and acquisition of materials
Partnerships are required in many of these phases, often at a global level. Alfa Laval safeguards the retrofit process, making certain that all project partners understand the scope, the timeline and their responsibilities. Everything is documented in a project specification, and Alfa Laval’s well-established routines ensure that this is followed.
NAFS: And what about the after sales service?
Dimitris Poulos: A ballast water treatment system is a major investment that requires expert maintenance to secure lasting,compliant performance. Engineers on board are not trained for these kind of equipment as these treatments systems are new on board. So there is not the accumulated experience that usually chief engineers and second engineers have collected from their sailing experience. Also there are not third party service providers that will be able to support so large variety of makers. Only periodic inspection and service from the original supplier will safeguard that major investment by verifying full system functionality according to the system’s type approval.
This fact declares that is more than necessary to have a proven global supplier not only on manufacturing equipment but also capable to provide service in a global perspective. Alfa Laval is global marine supplier not only of equipment but also of services. There is a global presence with sales companies in 45 countries that each of them supports local territory with a service team. We are present with local service stations in more than 82 ports and already with 70 service engineers trained in PureBallast. We provide not only preventive maintenance and troubleshooting but also complete performance agreements that secure shipowner and are giving a total peace of mind.Also due to the fact that we have installed on board more than 600 systems that owners were not working these due to the lack of ratification , we have launched a special service product that we call recomissioning. Is a service program available in more than 30 ports that provides a restart of the units that were operating and give again the appropriate training to the engineers on board. We fully believe that after sales will be one of the major concerns of the shipowners as the systems are new and still we do not know how strict will be the procedures from the coast control authorities. Only a global marine supplier with proven capacity and competence will be able to fulfil coming needs and Alfa Laval for sure has an advantage on this perpective.
*General Manager ALFA LAVAL Greece
**Sales Manager Marine Capital Sales ALFA LAVAL Greece