Japanese launch BWTS in a box – freight container

Innovative solution to Ballast Water Treatment System retro-fitting?

Japanese launch ‘BWTS in a box’

With clear mandates, but with unclear solutions, innovators are working to provide ballast water retrofitting for their ships. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsui OSK Lines have developed a system that fits inside a freight container, sits in a hold or on deck and is intended to save time and money – exactly what ship owners desire.
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23 Jan 2013

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) have jointly developed technology which they say will allow a ballast water treatment system (BWTS) to be contained in a standard-size freight container, saving on retrofit time and cost.

The system is intended for container ships, with the BWTS unit installed within the cargo hold. The container-type BWTS design has received concept approval from ClassNK. MHI says that the new technology will significantly reduce BWTS retrofitting turnaround time in comparison to the normal engine-room BWTS installation. A 250m³/h system is to be installed onboard the 8,100TEU MOL Competence, which was built by MHI in 2008.


The container-type BWTS is contained in a 40ft high-cube container, measuring around 12.2m in length, 2.4m in width and 2.9m in height. Within the container, the component devices are arranged to maximize available space and permit maintenance. MHI adds that when installing the container-type BWTS in the ship hold, preliminary surveys are simplified because the only major work needed is ballast water intake/discharge and power line connection.


In most cases, work can be completed in around two weeks, seven days less than a conventional installation. The work does not require cutting of the ship’s side shell, and can be carried out alongside, with no need to drydock. The system is suitable for ships with limited engine room space.


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