Industry News Product Updates

BWC contracts with Ecochlor for EcoOne® Containerised BWMS solution

BWC contracts with Ecochlor for EcoOne® Containerised BWMS solution

Ballast Water Containers has secured a contract from Ecochlor for the design and manufacture of a containerised ballast water management system. An offshore container will house Ecochlor’s EcoOne® BWMS and the unit will be installed on a semi-submersible drilling rig. 

With treatment components supplied by Ecochlor, the BWC team will manage both the design and fabrication of the customised container, which will need to withstand harsh offshore conditions, with temperatures ranging from lows of – 20 degrees C to highs of + 45 degrees. As the container is housed on a semi-submersible, a custom design is required to ensure it meets the requirements dictated by its offshore location.

BWC, ballast water treatment experts and part of the Malin group, offer a range of port-based, deckhouse and mobile containerised ballast water treatment solutions. This latest scope showcases their expertise and drive to provide custom solutions to their client base. The project also demonstrates the pressing requirement of the industry to respond to the ballast water management convention (BWMC) guidelines, especially with some countries already enforcing legislation and issuing sizeable fines.


BWC CEO Richard Lawson states: “BWC is excited to be working with Ecochlor on this project. Having known their team for several years, we have always been impressed with their treatment technology, equipment reliability and feature benefits. Single-stage treatment, no filter, gravity ballasting options and easy installation makes the EcoOne® Containerised Unit a simple, cost-effective solution for semi-submersible rigs.”  


Pete Thompson, VP of Operations at Ecochlor adds: “Ecochlor has selected BWC as a partner for the containerization of the Ecochlor EcoOne® BWMS based on their industry technical and regulatory experience, as well as the high quality of the containerized unit.  Our collaboration with BWC will provide a product that will provide the offshore industry with solutions to some of the most challenging BWMS applications.”

The containerised unit will be completed and deployed in the second quarter of 2023.

Product Updates Top Tips

Top Tips: BWTS Container Design – What to consider

- Top Tip Series: BWTS Container Design - What to consider

It’s no secret that when embarking on the journey of BWM compliance, there are many aspects one needs to consider before the engineering and design stages, such as cost, technology selection and installation type.

The process of BWTS containerisation is very similar. However, once these aspects have been determined, the engineering design differs in many respects when compared to a typical retrofit.

A typical retrofit on a shipping vessel, for instance, would firstly involve an onboard survey which would include a 3D scan. This information then allows the engineering team to use 3D plant-design software to determine how the selected equipment would physically fit in the desired location and design the connecting pipework using standardised buttwelded pipe fittings.

Since the installation location will already have existing equipment present, the result of this process, although technically fit-for-purpose, is often an equipment layout which is unnecessarily disjointed with a large amount of meandering pipework to meet the connection points.

Simply put, equipment layouts of this nature would be impossible in a containerisation project.

Containerisation on the other hand, involves installing the same equipment in a much smaller, pre-determined, space. This restriction forces the requirement for creative and innovative engineering when it comes to the design of the equipment layout and allowance for maintenance spaces.  Often the design of the pipework will also involve considering unconventional fabrications at individual component level.

In addition to the engineering design of the BWTS, the production of the container housing itself has various aspects which need consideration. Under the ISO 668 framework, there are fourteen standardised sizes for containers. The common assumption is that the process of containerisation consists of selecting an appropriate standardised size and simply installing equipment inside. However, in many cases standard ISO 668 certification will not be sufficient and environmental factors will call for a higher specification of container, such as an offshore container or a service module.

All of this makes for a complex process of engineering design and specification, however the benefit of this is that the end-result is an engineering system which is tailored specifically to the clients’ applications with a far smaller physical footprint, using less raw materials – ideal for mobile, temporary and/or port-based systems.

Industry News

With 2024 deadline approaching, why wait?

With 2024 deadlines approaching, why wait?

As a result of an appreciation of the harmful impact, sometimes at a cataclysmic level, that ballast water may have on the local environment, the IMO formulated the Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments 2004 (the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC)). As of this year, 79 countries worldwide have signed up to this convention – yet many vessel owners have not yet acted – why? Whilst the BWMC came into effect in 2017, it was then delayed by a two year extension granted by the IMO. As such, vessels that have already been built will be required to install a ballast water management system by their first International Oil Pollution Prevention renewal survey only as of September 2019. This survey is only required every five years however, so some vessels will not be obliged to install ballast water management systems until September 2024.


The question is – why wait? Many are mindful of the potential delays in the supply pipeline with a predicted tsunami on the cards as vessel owners rush to meet the 2024 deadline. This is teamed with precedent from across the pond, with the US now enforcing their requirements, with large penalties falling to those who do not comply.


Given this, it is only a matter of time until ship, barge or offshore support vessel owners need to act to avoid unnecessarily high ballast water treatment system costs or fines.


With the full process, from consultation and design to installation taking up to 9-12 months, the time to act is now. BWC are on hand to offer free advice and guidance, alongside our range of portable containerised or permanent deckhouse solutions.

Top Tips

Top Tips: Can seagoing barges comply with ballast water regulations

- Top Tip Series: How seagoing barges may comply with ballast water treatment regulations

Seagoing barges can’t comply with ballast water treatment regulations…or can they?

In short, the answer is  yes, they can, however there are challenges.   

As many sea going barges are non-self propelled, there is  an absence of machinery space on board. Given this,  a standard retrofit installation of a ballast water treatment system is not an option. Indeed, finding adequate room within the machinery space on self-propelled barges may not be possible.

Therefore, an alternative to a standard retrofit is required, which points to a “boxed” treatment system mounted on the deck of the barge. This can be in the form of a permanently installed deckhouse system or a mobile containerised system.

Barge projects may not always require ballast water treatment and there will be times when the barge is standing by, awaiting a contract. For these reasons having a mobile containerised treatment system may be the most cost-effective solution, with one container shared between a small fleet of barges.  Taking this a step further it may be wise for owners with small barge fleets to consider a collaboration, so that one mobile treatment system can be shared between both companies.  

Operational ballasting during load out and load in operations can be an additional challenge on some barges. If the operational ballast tanks have retained some untreated residual ballast water from a previous location, then this residual water in the operational tanks cannot be pumped out in the new location. Treatment during operational ballasting is not a realistic option due to the high pumping rates, however if a suitable treatment technology is selected for the containerised system, it will be possible to use the system to flush or purge the operational ballast tanks prior to cargo operations commencing. This will ensure the barge is  compliant during load out and load in operations.

There are many considerations and some challenges, however compliance is possible with careful planning.

Industry News Top Tips

Top Tips: How to mitigate risks when addressing BWM compliance

- Top Tip Series: How to mitigate the risks when addressing BWM compliance

In BWC’s first tip we mentioned that in a typical BWTS project, the scope of the project is wide and there are often multiple parties involved. Because of this, without suitable levels of project management, there is a real risk of the project becoming fragmented, disorganised and therefore over-schedule and over budget.

At the very outset of the project, the best course of action is for a vessel owner/manager to seek consultation from an impartial firm and determine – through a feasibility study – the most suitable BWTS technology and installation type in relation to a number of driving factors, namely: their operations, vessel requirements and constraints, required timescale and budget; and any other client specifications.

Beyond system selection, the study will investigate and determine the extent of engineering design work required for the installation. This encompasses aspects such as structural designs, general arrangement, pipe design, electrical connection, integration with auxiliary systems and not least of all, approval from the classification society. Lastly, in terms of fabrication, this activity is often sub-contracted to a firm local to the yard where installation is intended.

If successful co-operation between all of these parties takes place, the final installation stage is when this should pay off. All components must arrive on time (including, but not limited to, the BWTS); all fabrications must be complete and delivered; and concurrent planning of installation and class-approval processes must be adopted to minimise duration.

In a traditional installation project, testing and commissioning processes relating to the BWTS (but, again, not limited to) are generally only done once the equipment has been installed – this, again, poses a risk. If there are aspects of the installation which are not compliant to manufacturer installation specifications or class requirements, then re-work processes may be required – costing time and money.

One way of avoiding this risk is to opt for an off-site built ballast water treatment deckhouse or container. In this scenario, all engineering, fabrication, and approvals are completed in a controlled environment and system installation takes place off-site allowing for pre-testing of all systems prior to arrival at the vessel. This approach can reduce vessel downtime for an installation project so definitely an option to consider, if the vessel owner has the flexibility to accommodate a deckhouse or a container on board.


Top Tips: Port Authorities – what can you offer as a contingency measure for vessels failing BWT inspections?

- Top Tip Series: Port Authorities - what can you offer as a contingency measure for vessels failing BWT inspections?

If you are a port authority and want to ensure that your port is not being polluted with untreated foreign ballast water by visiting vessels failing to comply with IMO ballast water management regulations, then no doubt you will be considering the start of an inspection programme for vessels visiting your port.

Before starting these inspections you should consider the contingency measures required, in the event that a vessel fails an inspection as a result of a faulty onboard treatment system.

Repairing the faulty onboard treatment system may be one option for the vessel, however for more serious faults repairs on board may not be possible without the vessel first receiving a delivery of spare parts and / or a visit from a treatment system service engineer. In this case clearly a more workable contingency plan will be required if the vessel is to keep operational delays (and consequential costs) to a minimum and at the same time avoid polluting the port with untreated ballast water.

A port based single stage treatment system is an ideal contingency plan. A port system may be connected to the vessel’s ballast water system, allowing the vessel’s ballast water to be treated by the port system prior to discharge.              

This port based containerised system can be located on the quayside or alternatively on a workboat or barge that can then be positioned alongside the visiting vessel that has failed the inspection.   

Support equipment in the form of hoses, pumps and a generator can be supplied alongside the containerised system. This complete package of treatment equipment will keep the vessel’s operational delays to a minimum and more importantly will work to keep your port pollution free!

Industry News Top Tips

Top Tips: Share the Cost of Ballast Water Treatment

- Top Tip Series: share the cost of ballast water treatment

Do you have a fleet of vessels that operate in the same area? Maybe Platform Supply Vessels operating in the same region servicing the offshore oil & gas industry, or Offshore Support Vessels supporting an offshore wind farm?

Whether OSVs, PSVs or similar vessel type if they are operating regionally, then there is a likelihood that they will operate in and out of the same 2 or 3 ports closest to the operation. These ports may be in the same country or split between a few neighbouring countries close to the operation.

If these ports are in the same country surrounded by the same body of water, then treating ballast water before discharge will not be necessary. However, if these ports are in different countries, then treatment will be required. So let’s say your vessel takes ballast water on in Den Heldert then, after returning from offshore, it needs to de-ballast this water in Aberdeen, then treatment before discharge will be required. The good news is, the cost of treatment for your regional fleet does not have to be a costly or laborious exercise, with considerable savings on offer depending on the location of your treatment system. Whilst one option is to fit units on each vessel, you could instead install a port based single stage treatment system in each of the 2 or 3 ports where your vessels operate, enabling your full fleet to utilise the shared assets when required. Given this, the bigger your fleet, the bigger the savings.

Limited ballast water pipe retrofit work will be required on each vessel to allow the port system to connect to the vessel’s ballast water line, however these costs coupled with the costs of 2 or 3 port based single stage treatment systems is significantly lower than the cost of having to retrofit every vessel in your regional fleet with a ballast water treatment system. Given this, the only real question remaining, is what ports would you like to select?

Industry News Top Tips

Top Tips: Avoid the Ballast Water Treatment System Tsunami

- Top Tip Series: Avoid the Ballast Water Treatment System Tsunami

Technology providers and class societies alike have suggested that 2022 will be one of the busiest years to date, with regards ballast water installation activities! But what does this mean for the end user? We would suggest that to effectively meet D2 ballast water treatment deadlines, vessel owners should start their ballast water treatment plans this year, as early as possible.  Indeed, the requirement for vessel owners to commence planning of their ballast water treatment plans is even more pressing than before, if they are to meet their D2 ballast water requirements effectively and efficiently.


For many years now, there have been warnings of a forthcoming “BWTS Tsunami,” yet despite the troubling predictions, the majority of vessels are still not compliant, nor moving towards being so. This inactivity, coupled with the looming legal deadline, will result in a congestion of supply chains and yard services, ultimately leading to increased costs.


The project duration for a typical ballast water installation scope is driven by a number of varying factors (technology, manufacturer, installation type, location, etc) however in general, most tend to last around 8-12 months, from beginning to end.


Within this time, there are many activities to complete, with multiple parties involved, including but not exclusive to the initial consultancy and technology selection; engineering and class approval; BWTS production and delivery; fabrication and installation works; personnel training – the list goes on…


The increase in vessel owners, collectively rushing to be compliant, before the final deadline of September 2024 will undoubtedly result in an increase in this 8–12-month average. To avoid getting caught in this “Tsunami” it is important that all vessel owners turn their attentions to their BW management plans as early as possible and avoid unnecessary inflated costs.


Vessel owners may also counteract the potential congestion through the exploration of a range of compliance solutions. This may take the form of weighing up alternatives to a traditional installation (such as prefabricated deckhouses or ship-type service containers) or the utilization of mobile or port-based solutions. There are a myriad of contributory factors and end solutions to consider, each with competing benefits, costs, and timescales. Given this and the predicted wave that is approaching, the main advice we would dispense is to start your preparations now.   

Industry News Product Updates

BWC awarded design & manufacturing contract for mobile containerized ballast water treatment system

BWC awarded design & manufacturing contract for mobile containerized ballast water treatment system

Ballast Water Containers (BWC), part of the Malin Group, are delighted to have secured an exciting contract to provide design & manufacturing services for the provision for a mobile containerised ballast water treatment system. The unit will contain Bawat’s unique ballast water treatment technology and once completed marks the first world-wide commercial sale of a mobile containerised ballast water treatment system.  


BWC CEO Richard Lawson states: “We are delighted to have been selected by Bawat for the design and manufacture of their containerised ballast water management system. Bawat’s technology and BWC’s experience in this field are the perfect match and we firmly believe that Bawat’s single pass technology in its mobile form provides the ideal solution to barge owners faced with the current challenges of ballast water treatment on their vessels.”


BWC, based in Glasgow, provide cost effective, innovative mobile ballast water management compliance solutions for the marine industry. Over the last 12 months BWC & Bawat have formed a collaboration to create a unique mobile containerised ballast water treatment system. The system uses Bawat’s pasteurisation technology to treat the vessel’s ballast water and unlike other treatment technologies the process has no filter and the water only has to be treated once. This single stage of treatment offers the vessel owner the flexibility to treat the water at the ballasting stage before the vessel departs or at the de-ballasting stage when the vessel arrives in port. The mobility of the unit also allows treatment to occur with the containerised unit on board or alternatively when it is on the quayside with the vessel or barge alongside. Finally, one mobile treatment unit can also be shared with several vessels, lowering the cost per vessel for ballast water treatment.             


Marcus Hummer CEO at Bawat states: “After visiting BWC in Glasgow 12 months ago it was evident that BWC’s experience in mobile ballast water management was going to prove extremely beneficial to Bawat, so forming a collaboration with them was an easy decision to make.   BWC has demonstrated a high skill set for design & manufacturing of containerised ballast water treatment systems and we look forward to working with them on this project and many others in the future.”

Events Industry News Product Updates

BWC Powered by Bawat Demonstration

Live Demo – Kallo, Belgium.


Live Demo – Kallo, Belgium.


BWC and Bawat recently hosted a joint demonstration of the containerised single pass Bawat BWTS at the Herbosch-Kiere facility in Kallo, near the port of Antwerp. The event was attended by many of our clients and provided the opportunity for them to see the containerised system in action.

The single stage system was showcased during a deballasting operation on the Herbosch- Kiere multi-purpose pontoon vessel, Atlantis. The barge had just returned from a voyage which began in Africa and therefore required treatment of its ballast water prior to de-ballasting at the private quayside in Kallo. During the demonstration, the ballast water was treated using the Bawat single pass system with a flow rate of 200m³ per hour. In partnership with BWC, the system can also be provided with a flow rate of 50-500m³ per hour.

BWC and Bawat recently hosted a joint demonstration of the containerised single pass Bawat BWTS at the Herbosch-Kiere facility in Kallo, near the port of Antwerp. The event was attended by many of our clients and provided the opportunity for them to see the containerised system in action.

The single stage system was showcased during a deballasting operation on the Herbosch- Kiere multi-purpose pontoon vessel, Atlantis. The barge had just returned from a voyage which began in Africa and therefore required treatment of its ballast water prior to de-ballasting at the private quayside in Kallo. During the demonstration, the ballast water was treated using the Bawat single pass system with a flow rate of 200m³ per hour. In partnership with BWC, the system can also be provided with a flow rate of 50-500m³ per hour.

Unlike other systems, the Bawat BWTS takes just a short time to warm up therefore allowing for a quick movement into the treatment phase of the operation. Within 15 minutes, the containerised system was successfully treating foreign ballast water pumped from the tanks of the vessel prior to discharging the water over the side.

The Bawat BWTS system is designed for maximum effectiveness and efficiency. It has no filter, therefore no backflush. As a result, owners avoid the additional hassle of having to dispose of the resulting waste product.

The demonstration was carried out over a single day with a number of barge owners and representatives from port services organisations in attendance. Viewing in smaller groups and strict social distancing measures were maintained throughout to ensure the safety of our clients, our team and the Herbosch-Kiere team. We remained on hand throughout to answer any questions on the system and its practical operations.

Our event comes at a time when ballast water treatment is making its way to the top of vessel owners’ “to do” lists. This is likely a direct result of the fact that vessel IOPP renewal dates are fast approaching. Therefore, these vessels must now plan to utilise ballast water treatment systems if their operations involve the discharge of foreign ballast water. In our partnership with Bawat, it is our aim to provide a realistic and operationally practical alternative to the traditional one vessel, one system approach to meeting Ballast Water Convention compliance. For those with fixed trading routes, a port side containerised BWTS offers a more cost-effective treatment method across a fleet when compared with traditional retrofitting. Our recent demo was able to showcase the efficiency and ease with which the Bawat system can help owners meet their requirements.