DISCOVER Magazine #7

Retrofit, port and mobile BWT solutions

Published in category: Green

With the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention expected to come into force in 2016 and with some 60,000 vessels needing to comply, Damen has made sure it can provide a full range of ballast water treatment solutions to customers.
The Damen Ballast Water Product Group provides all encompassing, one-stop retrofit and newbuild solutions, as well as a pioneering new mobile port solution called InvaSave.

InvaSave BWT vessel in action alongside_1300_770

One-stop retrofit compliance
Gert Jan Oude Egberink, Damen Manager Ballast Water Treatment, stresses: “Regarding retrofitting, it is not just a product. We aim to deliver compliance in one total package.”

Several customers have already taken the opportunity of filling in our questionnaire about their retrofit needs on the new website at Based on this information, Damen provides a basic, free budget quotation about the costs of a retrofit, coupled with a recommendation about the most suitable ballast water treatment system for the company.

If a customer chooses the ‘one-stop’ BWT solution, Damen carries out the survey, pre-engineering, engineering, integration plan, purchasing, manufactures the piping, the installation, as well as the commissioning and start up. Damen also provides training and supplies the BW management plan.

Carrying out a BWT retrofit is also a major logistical operation. Gert Jan says: “It has to be one time right. The vessel needs to be compliant after its renewal survey. Everything has to be signed off. Preparation is key.

“Damen is a strong logistical partner. Our highly skilled engineers have an understanding of the operational profile of the vessels and the industry, which helps the customer make an informed decision. ”

Ballast Water Treatment - Artist impression retrofit design_1300_770

Three BWT systems
With a plethora of IMO-type approved systems on the market – currently at least 50 – the choice of system can be overwhelming, therefore Damen has chosen to partner three BWT suppliers and provides the Trojan Marinex, Bio-Sea and Evoqua systems under its one-stop solution.

With these systems Damen can cover the whole range of vessels from small coasters to large LNG carriers and offer the most environmentally friendly and cost effective solutions. Trojan Marinex is suited for low and high ballast dependent vessels, Bio-Sea for low ballast dependent vessels and Evoqua, uses electrochlorination technology for high ballast dependent vessels. Trojan Marinex, which is a pioneer in the field of UV treatment, is likely to be one of the first systems to receive US Coast Guard (USCG) approval.

Gert Jan adds that operators really need to be thinking about their chosen solution if they haven’t done already. “The Convention is very nearly ratified and then it will come into force a year later.” For the IMO this means that international sailing vessels have to be compliant after their first renewal survey. And when it comes to the USCG, vessels with 1500-5000 cu m already need to be compliant after their first planned drydocking and any other capacities, when drydocking in 2016. “This is not far away and it can take 10 to 12 months to go through the retrofitting process.” And finding engineering capacity and time slots in yards can also be an issue.

“To make sure we are prepared we have been working on deals with suppliers for many years. We have created partnerships with major ballast water system manufacturers and made service level agreements with other supporting companies and organisations etc. Customers have the benefits of our buying power. We have secured the whole supply chain for them.” Training is also provided, although all the systems have been chosen for their ease of operation and easy maintenance.

InvaSave in action on quay 2_1300_770

Choice & flexibility
And to give customers as much flexibility as possible, Damen will also install the BWT system of the customer’s choice if preferred, and at the yard of their choice.

“We have some owners that are preparing themselves up to the survey stage of our one-stop solution. We understand that charter obligations and trade route changes means that they don’t always know where they are likely to drydock for the surveys.”

Therefore, Damen offers flexibility. “If the customer wants us to we can prepare everything, carry out the purchasing and prefabrication, combine everything into a container and send it to a Damen Repair yard or yard of the customer’s choice.”

Naturally, Damen offers its partner ballast water treatment system installation for newbuilds as well. Some recent examples include Van Oord’s offshore carrier Nexus and Atlantic Towing’s PSVs.

InvaSave – the world’s first mobile port solution
Damen has also considered ballast water treatment alternatives for those owners that may not want to retrofit a treatment system, perhaps because their ships operate on fixed routes, or their ships are too old to make any investment in a system prohibitively expensive. Harbours may also need to provide backup in the case of emergencies when a ship’s onboard treatment systems fail.

This has led to the truly pioneering Damen proprietary InvaSave technology, a mobile ballast water discharge unit, which is a world first. The InvaSave system is fully containerised, therefore can easily be scaled up.

Using InvaSave, owners and operators will be fully compliant with the IMO regulations.

Each container has a proprietary InvaSave ballast water treatment system with a capacity of 300 m3/h. The 45ft HQ container can be put on a trailer or several can be placed on a dedicated treatment barge or pontoon, which Damen has also designed ready for the ratification of the Convention.

A vessel needing to discharge its ballast water can connect to the trailer or treatment vessel and discharge its ballast water over the InvaSave unit, which then processes and discharges it at sea. The unique Damen mobile treatment technology is very cost effective because it allows ballast water to be treated at the point of discharge, whereas a conventional on board system has to treat the
water on intake and when it is discharged.

The technology is very simple to use – essentially it is a plug & play system. Vessels only need to have a deck connection. The InvaSave container is self-sufficient with its own power generator and booster pump.

Ballast Water Treatment - Inner work_1300_770

Modular system
“And because it’s modular it is easy to increase capacity.” For vessels with much larger ballast water capacities, it is possible to interconnect several systems. If mobility is not required the InvaSave containers can also be stacked and interconnected on shore.

Ultimately, InvaSave containers, treatment barges and pontoons will be available, plus reception facilities.

For a port, the InvaSave is added value for clients as it increases the support services offered to customers; it will prevent expensive delays in ports caused by failing onboard systems, Gert Jan says. And some types of vessels don’t need to invest in an onboard BWT system at all.

“InvaSave is also interesting for single commodity terminals, where vessels arrive under full ballast, as well as repair yards, salvage companies and scrap yards.”

The prototype InvaSave was initially designed for the Wadden Sea National Park in the Netherlands, which is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Damen teamed up with Groningen Seaports to develop the mobile treatment barge to keep alien invasive species out of the Wadden Sea. Other partners include the Dutch marine research institutes Imares & MEA-NL, Van Gansewinkel, Wagenborg and Evers Manders. Van Gansewinkel will be the operators of the first InvaSave barge. The project received a subsidy from the Waddenfonds.

The InvaSave barge will be operational in the ports of Eemshaven and Delfzijl after the IMO BWMC enters into force The InvaSave technology is currently undergoing final tests for statutory type approval based on the requirements of the IMO and the Dutch flag state. Type approval is expected end 2015.

For more details about our BWT solutions please take a look at our website:

It has to be one time right. The vessel has to be compliant after its renewal survey. Preparation is key.

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