Unique ballast water treatment system first used at Groningen Seaports

Unique ballast water treatment system first used at Groningen Seaports

  • Groningen Seaports first in line for Damen InvaSave
  • Ballast water treatment system will be displayed at ‘DelfSail’ sailing festival

The first production version of Damen’s InvaSave ballast water treatment system – intended for use at Groningen Seaports – will be on display at the upcoming ‘DelfSail’ sailing festival between 30 June and 3 July in the city of Delfzijl.

Damen’s InvaSave is the world’s first ballast water treatment (BWT) system intended to operate in ports and mobile operations. The fully containerised ‘plug & play’ unit provides ship owners with a mobile and cost-effective alternative to retrofitting fixed BWT systems. This will also give port authorities the versatility to improve their services that they can offer ship owners.

InvaSave represents the close cooperation between Damen and Groningen Seaports, the port authority handling the Dutch ports of Delfzijl and Eemshaven. Other partner organisations include Van Gansewinkel and Royal Wagenborg in addition to Dutch marine research institutes Imares and MEA-nl.

Another important partner was the ‘Waddenfonds’ – a Dutch foundation involved with the preservation of the Wadden Sea – who provided significant financial support to establishing the project.

Forward thinkers
Delfzijl and Eemshaven are situated on the coast of the Wadden Sea, an area containing the largest unbroken system of intertidal sand and mud flats in the world. Due to this biological and physical distinctiveness, the area has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site.

“We teamed up with Groningen Seaports to develop this technology. With the Wadden Sea on their doorstep, this is an important issue for them,” says Damen Green Solutions Product Manager Matthijs Schuiten. “It has been a pleasure to work with them towards their goal of a ‘green’ harbour environment. Their progressive way of thinking has played a very important role in the entire project.”

Ready for ratification
“Our location on the Wadden Sea means that we have a responsibility to push forward the progress of sustainable shipping,” comments Groningen Seaports Sustainability Coordinator Bart van der Kolk. “We are fully prepared for the ratification of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention. This project wouldn’t have been possible without the effort of some frontrunners like Royal Wagenborg, Van Gansewinkel, Imares, MEA-nl and Damen.”

Advancing sustainability

Expected to attract around 600,000 visitors, DelfSail is a periodic sailing festival that takes place in Delfzijl, in the north of the Netherlands. More than 30 traditional sailing ships – including schooners, three-masters and barques – will be attending the 5-day event this year.

Visitors to DelfSail will be able to view the Damen InvaSave unit at the SummerLabb, a Dutch exhibition platform dedicated to informing the public about sustainable issues. “We are very pleased to exhibit the InvaSave unit and to share it with the tens of thousands of people who will visit SummerLabb,” comments Jan Douwe Kroeske, creator of the SummerLabb. “It marks a substantial advance in the field of ballast water treatment. It is fitting that the first unit will be operational in the Wadden Sea: an area of considerable ecological importance on an international level.”