Optimarin wins USCG approval for shorter holding time

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

05 March 2019


Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) have gained approval from the USCG slashing their required holding time from 72 to just 24 hours for all salinities. The certification ensures the systems are optimised for short sea shipping routes in the US, as the time between ballast water treatment and de-ballasting is cut dramatically. The reduced holding time will apply to all of the installed OBS systems once a small software update to the control system has been completed.

USCG requires a holding time post treatment for UV systems to ensure all cells are inactive before testing. However, with increased UV doses, such as those provided by OBS’ powerful 35kW lamps, the holding time can be reduced, thus enabling greater vessel flexibility.

“This is another endorsement of OBS by the USCG, which will itself be utilising our technology in its new Offshore Patrol Cutter programme,” commented Optimarin CEO Tore Andersen. “Our system was the first to gain full USCG approval and now it boasts the current minimum required holding time for UV-based solutions. This will have a major impact for shipowners trading between domestic ports in the US.”

Systems with three day holding times are required to wait for that duration before discharging treated water at port – meaning vessels may have to anchor and interrupt operations if conducting short voyages. The efficacy of the 50-3,000m3/h OBS, however, ensures short turnarounds and optimal efficiency for shipowners trading in North American waters.

At present, USCG continues to utilise the CMFDA/FDA staining test methodology, which requires disruption to the membranes of organic cells carried in ballast water. Even though premium UV-based systems, such as OBS, eliminate all organisms instantly membranes may not be immediately disrupted, leading to the holding time requirement.