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A world first
SEMBCORP Marine Ltd has won the Outstanding Maritime R&D and Technology Award at the Singapore International Maritime Awards 2017 for its efforts in having developed the Semb-Eco Ballast Water Management System (BWMS).
The Semb-Eco LUV utilises a patented in-house technology and is the world's first BWMS to use a combination of ultra-violet rays with bio-fouling control.
Says Simon Kuik, Sembcorp Marine's head of research & development: "We are very pleased with this award as it is an acknowledgement of Sembcorp Marine's efforts to strengthen our industry leadership through innovative technological and engineering solutions.
"In spite of the challenging market conditions, Sembcorp Marine believes that sharpening its technological innovation and creativity remains critical to synergising and transforming our collective expertise into proven solutions in order to stay ahead of the competition and to ensure continuous future growth and business sustainability."
The Semb-Eco LUV was the first International Maritime Organization (IMO) type-approved BWMS to be researched, developed, manufactured and factory tested in Singapore. This environmentally sustainable system uses energy-efficient ultra-violet rays and proprietary ultra low frequency bio-fouling control for chemical free ballast water treatment. It has the lowest power consumption among similar products on the market.
Mr Kuik says that, in addition to IMO type approval, the United States Coast Guard certification is currently being carried out and the group has started commercialisation efforts for this product.
Some other recent examples of Sembcorp Marine's innovation and technological advances for green solutions include floater solutions and gas value chain. Under floater solutions, Sembmarine SSP completed tank testing of the SSP12000 Driller's wave basin, bringing this concept solution for ultra deep water offshore platforms a critical step closer to commercialisation.
For enhancing gas value chain, Sembcorp Marine has gone in for strategic acquisitions of design solutions companies to allow it to offer a full range of gas product solutions.
"We would also like to acknowledge our partners, especially Ecospec Marine Technology Pte Ltd, in enabling Sembcorp Marine to add value to innovative technologies in the areas of green technology innovation," says Mr Kuik.
Providing details of BWMS, he says that it is a modular system capable of treating ship's ballast water to IMO ballast water discharge standard for a full range of ballast pump capacities. The system does not use any chemicals or produce disinfection by-products in the treatment process, thereby making its operation simple and maintenance cost relatively low.
The innovative bio-fouling control unit is incorporated to maintain low biological activity of the holding water within the pipes and vessels of the BWMS, using proprietary ultra low frequency technology provided by Sembcorp Marine's technology partner Ecospec Marine Technology Pte Ltd. Patent for the Semb-Eco LUV BWMS has been filed in several countries, including the US and China, and has already been granted in Singapore.
The environmentally friendly and energy efficient system is the first and only such system to date that has been researched, developed, tested here and approved by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to receive IMO type approval.
Mr Kuik says in moving towards greener shipping, Sembcorp Marine is championing several initiatives, including sustainable industrialisation. "Our pipeline of strategic R&D and solutions development programmes has led to a suite of products that are cleaner, safer and smarter, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, while helping the group gain a foothold on future market opportunities."
Last year, Sembcorp Marine established a unit to provide one-stop environmentally friendly retrofit solutions, enabling customers to better understand and adopt green technology products. Other initiatives include working towards mitigating bio-invasions at sea, reducing climate change impact, non-chemical corrosion control, and solutions for offshore renewable energy.
At the same time, Sembcorp Marine is contributing to the growth of Maritime Singapore. It is promoting R&D and education through the S$10 million Nanyang Technological University (NTU) lab endowment fund for the research of sustainable operations and maintenance (O&M) technology solutions.
"We readily help to develop local capabilities, especially among small and medium enterprises (SMEs), by providing test-bedding opportunities in our yard or on our marine products. We work with Spring Singapore on this provision of test-bedding infrastructure to SMEs," says Mr Kuik.