The first separator installed on board was hundreds of years ago and it was an Alpha Laval . Today Alfa Laval is one of the most experienced suppliers in the market – with a vast experience of various applications in the marine market, predominant within Ballast water treatment as well as for SOx and NOx applications . After many years of negotiations within the IMO Member States, IMO BWM Convention is coming up this September. However, is the route ahead clear?

There are two standards to comply with; the D1 and the D2. The options that are available are either to do the BWM exchange or installing a BWTS. However is it possible for all vessels, if not installing a system, to do ballast water exchange?

The latest bulletin came out in March from the USCG clearly making a statement that it would be much more difficult to get extensions granted and it gives much higher burden of proof to get that extend. 

BWT is by far the most complex legislation driven application. First of all we have different testing methods between IMO and the USCG. Thus, the MPN method is still under discussion in the United States. There are a few existing legislative uncertainties concerning the Ballast Water Management Convention. Every system on the market has its benefits and limitations. The MPN method gives limitations for UV systems. Furthermore, currently no regulated limits for disinfection by-products (DBPs) have been generated which would likely effect the EC technology.

Up to 5000 BWMS have been installed so far; majority of them have been newbuilds. But we are coming in a new era with retrofits added to the new builds. Data show that 15-20 vessels will need installation per day.

Challenges ahead

  • Only 3 systems have USCG approval. Alfa Laval is among those 3. However, what will happen with legislation next?
  • Most suppliers on the market have never performed a retrofit installation
  • Production and installation capacity is a big question
  • Classification needs are increasing
  • Engineering services will be a bottleneck
  • Compliance is a complex issue.

Who will be responsible?

Retrofit is very important for the Alfa Laval; it has 50% of the world’s retrofit installations; it has IMO and USCG approved systems and covers a wide range of32–3000 (6000) m3/h capacities. However, it is not all about technology but also experience as no customer is the same, no ship is the same and no project is the same as well. There are a lot of things that can go wrong; delay delieveries; increased installation cost etc. You may learn from the experience. Thus, from several retrofit projects the company has taken that on board and now knows how to do better and what to advise the customer

Lessons learned

  • Invest time in the projectMore complex and time consuming than many tend to expect
  • Identify the needs of your fleet - Focus on performance
  • Commit for the long term - Ensure availability of spare parts, technical support and advice for the lifetime of the system
  • Look closely at total cost of ownership (TCO)  Installation cost, lifecycle cost, operational cost, and cost of non-compliance

All in all, there are four cornerstones for success; performance; experience; organisations; OPEX and LCC. If one of them is missing, you will probably compromise on the end result.

 Alfa Laval has issued a summary of the legislation and different technologies helping the ship-owners before doing the selection.


Above text is an edited article of Kristina Effler’s presentation during 2017 GREEN4SEA Conference & Awards

You may view her presentation video by clicking here

Click here to view all the presentations of 2017 GREEN4SEA Conference & Awards


The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of  GREEN4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion  purposes only.


Kristina Effler, Global Business Manager, PureBallast, Alfa Laval

Kristina’s responsibility is to drive the business growth of Alfa Laval PureBallast towards a profitable business and safeguard market leadership. Kristina leads a team of 7 people, dedicated to work with the Business growth of PureBallast.

Kristina has been employed by Alfa Laval since 2004 in various positions; as Senior project manager leading global cross functional Product Development, as Modularisation manager, recently as Global Busines manager of Alfa Lavals solution PureNOx, starting up the business area from scratch.

Kristina has a Master of Science Mech. Engineering and a Bachelor of Science Mech. Engineering.