US ballast approval for Erma First

Greece-based ESK Engineering has become the sixth ballast water treatment maker to achieve US type approval. Following a detailed review of the company’s ERMA First FIT system, the USCG has determined it reaches the requirements of the US regulations.

The treatment principle of the system consists of a three-step process consisting of filtration and electrolysis during uptake, and neutralisation at discharge. The approval covers thirteen models with maximum treatment rated capacities between 90m3/h and 3,740m3/h.

As well as approving the ERMA First FIT system, the USCG has also recognised the acquisition of the OceanSaver system by the Norwegian organisation IMS Group following the demise of the original maker. The USCG has issued an updated type approval certificate to TeamTec OceanSaver AS for the OceanSaver BWTS MKII Ballast Water Management System. The updated certificate was issued as a result of the acquisition of all OceanSaver intellectual property, certificates and assets by IMS Group.

In announcing the change of ownership, the USCG pointed out that all OceanSaver equipment manufactured during the validity of the original type approval certificate remains approved as long as it is manufactured, installed, and operated according to the terms of the type approval certificate. Any maintenance and repairs to this equipment must also be performed in accordance with the manuals and components specified as part of the type approval. If the equipment fails to operate and parts from the original equipment manufacturer are no longer available, then the equipment is no longer operating under its type approval and must be replaced.

Under the circumstances, it would seem prudent for all shipowners with vessels fitted with an OceanSaver system to ascertain for themselves if spare parts will be obtainable from TeamTec the new owners.

A seventh system – Samsung’s Purimar – is currently under review with its application for US type approval having been submitted on 28 September.