Following the BWM Convention’s entry into force on September 8, it is estimated that tens of thousands of ships will be required to install ballast treatment systems.

World Maritime News wanted to learn more about the installation process and spoke with Tom Perlich, President and Founder of Ecochlor. US-based Ecochlor, Inc. was founded in 2001 with the purpose of commercializing recently obtained patents for its ballast water treatment technology.

WMN: From an engineering point of view, how difficult is it to retrofit a ship with a BWM system, and whether, and in what way does the new system affect the ship’s operability?

Perlich: Shipowners should be aware of the complexity of a retrofit beyond just choosing a treatment system and allowing time to schedule, not only shipyard time for the installation, but also engineering services with firms that are experienced in BWT installations, as well as time for design review and compliance with classification and flag societies.

Any BWTS will affect the operation of the vessel, as it will draw on a ship’s electrical power, integrate with the electrical controls and work alongside main ballast water pump. Many treatment systems also require monitoring during intake. Ecochlor’s automated system is crew-friendly and has very low power requirements, if not the lowest in the industry. Typical power requirements for a flow rate of 8,000 m3/hr is 12 kWh, with maximum requirements reaching only as high as 35 kWh, usually due to high turbidity ballast water sources.

WMN: The Ecochlor Ballast Water Treatment System is suited for installation on all ships, especially on large tankers and bulkers. Do you intend to focus more on this particular segment which involves bulk carriers and tankers?

Perlich: Ecochlor is targeting vessels with mid-to-high ballast water flow rates, typically 1,000 m3 /hr or more. The higher the flow rate, the better. For vessels with ballast water flow rates of 2,000 m3 per hour up to, and including, 16,000 m3 per hour, the advantages of the Ecochlor design (small size, low power) become more obvious.

Speaking on the most lucrative sector so far, Perlich said that a lot of activity has been seen from the tanker industry.

“With the convention’s entry coming into force, we are also generating interest from owners of bulk carriers that require a system that does not need treatment or neutralization at discharge, such as for example top side tanks. Ecochlor is one of the only technologies on the market fitting that criteria.”

To read the full interview go to: