On April 25th Damen’s award-winning and IMO certified InvaSave ballast water management system (BWMS) received its world premiere in front of an invited audience courtesy of Groningen Seaports at the harbour of Delfzijl and Eemshaven, The Netherlands. This marks the culmination of a seven-year programme to develop an effective mobile BWMS for use in ports.
The premiere was a joint presentation between Damen Shipyards, the designated operator MariFlex and Groningen Shipyards, as well as Royal Wagenborg. This was the first time that the InvaSave has been used by a commercial operator. The newly launched MV Egbert Wagenborg was brought alongside a quay and the containerised InvaSave 300 mounted on a barge in front of the bow. Ship-to-ship operator MariFlex then quickly connected the vessel and InvaSave using a convenient standard hose connection. The ballast water was then pumped out of the ship and passed through the InvaSave for treatment before being released into the harbour.
The operation was witnessed by representatives from port operators and authorities, ship owners and other maritime organisations. Anneke Schäfer, Director of Nature and Environment Federation Groningen, gave a speech welcoming the arrival of this new technology before officially turning it on. While the treatment process was taking place, the guests were also entertained by a water jet flyboard performing acrobatics in the harbour.
Philip Rabe, responsible for InvaSave sales at Damen, commented: “We’re delighted that the Damen InvaSave is finally operational in a commercial environment. It is a unique product and, in many cases, it enables ports to offer vessel owners a viable and cost-effective alternative to retrofitting on-board systems. And, in the event of failure of an onboard system, ports can offer owners a means by which they can access ballast water treatment at short notice, ensuring minimal downtime.”
The IMO-approved Damen InvaSave is the world’s first external ballast water treatment unit designed primarily for use in ports. The system receives ballast water from inbound vessels and treats it to IMO D-2 standard to eliminate potentially invasive marine micro-organisms. It can also deliver water treated to the same standard to outbound vessels. Its mobile, containerised format means that it can be operated from the dockside or from onboard a vessel alongside.
The new unit is now ready for operations at the harbour of Delfzijl and Eemshaven for vessels either without, or with malfunctioning, onboard BWTS capability. MariFlex also plans to have a second operational in Rotterdam ahead of the September implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention.