The US Coast Guard has implemented the MAHLE’s Ocean Protection System (OPS), a ballast water treatment system for North American waters and ports. The system has been designed according to the current regulations. Earlier this year, the US Coast Guard approved the Ocean Protection System as an Alternate Management System (AMS).
For the period 2014-2016, all ships must have an approved ballast water treatment system onboard. A problem emerges when in the ship ballast water are present: fish, crabs, worms, bacteria, or viruses that could be transported to other regions (this could lead to an environmental disaster or to endanger many human lives).
This system obliges shipping companies operating globally to comply with the North American regulations (of course the shipping companies must also comply with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations). The firms have to consider these regulations in the future, for example the Hamburg shipping company, Hamburg Süd, has taken a decision, OPS to be implemented on new vessels.
MAHLE’s new ballast water treatment system was successfully implemented for a German and Asian customers in the last few years.
The MAHLE’s Ocean Protection System (OPS) includes a 2-stage filtration (preliminary and main filter) and UV disinfection. In the process is used a special low pressure radiation. The first stage in the procedure is filtration of the ballast water (when the tanks are flooded, discarding any fish, crabs, and worms is required).
The UV radiation is used in the process for making the microorganisms harmless without the need of chemical additives. The procedures of filtration and disinfection are coming at a low operating costs and easy implementation. Many shipping companies use the MAHLE’s OPS system because it complies not only with the North American regulations, but also with the regulations of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).