US approval a factor in switch to Alfa Laval system

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 05 December 2018


A combination of USCG approval and improved operational performance has been claimed by ballast treatment system maker Alfa Laval as a factor in recent decisions by customers to switch to its PureBallast 3 from other system choices.

A ballast water treatment system is a major investment, but also one that is crucial for vessel operations. If the system is unable to comply as planned, the vessel’s ability to do business will be crippled. This has led some ship owners to replace their existing choice of UV ballast water treatment system with another UV technology: Alfa Laval PureBallast 3.

Recently, two cruise ship owners took steps to exchange their procured UV ballast water treatment systems for PureBallast 3, which is type approved by both IMO and the USCG. In both cases, the original system’s lack of USCG type approval was a decisive factor.

Msc Seaside
MSC Seaside

In an order for two newbuild vessels, MSC Cruises switched to PureBallast 3 Compact systems, which are delivered ready-assembled as skid-mounted modules. Each system will handle a flow of 170 m3/h. “After a retrofit project and installation on board our managed vessels, we have positive feedback from our crew about the simplicity of the installation and the very user-friendly system,” said Raffaele Pollio, Vice President Engine Operations at MSC Cruise Management Limited. “In addition, the USCG certification is what we really need, considering our vessels’ trading areas.”

Regent Seven Seas Cruises also modified orders for two newbuilds. The company will now install PureBallast 3 Compact Flex systems for 500 m3/h each, delivered as loose components. “USCG type approval is an important part of the technical specification,” says Paolo Mele, SVP Technical Operations at Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We have positive experience with Alfa Laval from retrofits in previous years, and Alfa Laval’s offer was competitive for the shipyard.”

According to Anders Lindmark, Head of Alfa Laval PureBallast, USCG type approval is one of many reasons why customers are moving to PureBallast 3 from other UV treatment solutions. “If a system lacks USCG type approval, it limits the vessel’s freedom of movement,” he said. “But the same is true if it has poor filter performance, which can handicap the vessel in muddier waters. Many ship owners have experienced clogging with other systems, so they see an advantage in PureBallast 3, which has a high-end filter with enhanced cleaning capabilities. We increasingly see owners with second thoughts about other UV solutions, even after those systems have been ordered”

Anders also said that the modular concept of the Alfa Laval system made changing to it easier and that the company’s global service network were other deciding factors.

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