The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Center has received its fifth application for ballast water management system type approval - for the Ecochlor Ballast Water Treatment System manufactured by Echochlor, Inc.
Due to a more stringent set of guidelines than the IMO, U.S. type approval has so far only been granted to three other ballast water treatment systems worldwide.
Ecochlor is unique among them with its patented chlorine dioxide technology. Upon approval, the Ecochlor system means that shipowners will have another disinfection technology choice beyond UV and electro-chlorination technologies.
Ecochlor says that unlike other water treatment technologies, its system is not impaired by variations in water salinity, temperature, turbidity, organics or vibration and does not need neutralization at ballast water discharge. The price and size of a chlorine dioxide generator does not vary greatly based on flow rate, making them economically viable in the treatment of large volumes of water, says the company. Additional advantages are that the Ecochlor system has one of the lowest power consumption technologies, if not the lowest, on the market today.
Ecochlor sold its first system in 2004, and received IMO type approval in 2011.
The IMO’s 2004 Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments was finally ratified in 2016 and enter into force on September 8, 2017. The convention requires more than 65,000 ships over 400 gross tons to adopt approved ballast water management plans. For most ships this will require the installation of a type-approved ballast water treatment system.