Soon to be certified by the USCG: RWO’s ballast water treatment system CleanBallast® Ocean Barrier System

The compliant treatment of ballast water under the IMO and US Coast Guard (USCG) requirements and regulations have been a pressing issue over the last couple of years. Differences between national and international regulations, changes in implementation schedules and different interpretation of port state control authorities created uncertainty for ship owners and operators. With the second generation of the CleanBallast system RWO continues the support of the customer base. The system is now under review by the USCG and is expected to be fully approved by fall 2021.

Global shipping has connected continents on an unprecedented scale. But it also endangers the various marine ecosystems around the world. This is because ships can unintentionally carry marine organisms between harbours across the oceans in their ballast water. Non indigenous species may establish when discharged at a marine ecoregion different to their native one and cause significant damage. To prevent such impacts, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) require the control and management of ballast water and sediments by ships to reduce the risk of spreading of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens.

RWO has not left a stone unturned with CleanBallast® Ocean Barrier System being a fully recertified ballast water treatment system which is designed to pass all the multiple Type approval requirements defined by the US Coast Guard and other authorities. It is currently under review of the Norwegian and US Maritime Authorities in respect to IMO’s BWMS Code and USCG (46 CFR §162.060).  The full approval is expected in fall 2021.

The system carries its purpose proudly in its name: Ocean Barrier System (OBS). And a barrier it is indeed – even a particularly intelligent one since it prevents the uptake, spread and release of harmful aquatic organisms in the ballast water almost maintenance free. Beyond that, it offers low operational expenses and stable operation in waters of any quality. The system delivers uncompromised performance even in waters with high sediment loads such as estuary harbours. This is ensured by a unique field-proven disk -filtration technique combined with a further developed electrolytic cell.

Andreas Rosebrock, Head of Sales at RWO:

”With the second generation of the CleanBallast® system we broaden the support to our existing customer base. Beside continuous after-sales support for the first generation system, we can now offer an attractive upgrade package to fulfil both IMO and USCG standards.”

RWO was among the first marine equipment manufacturers to develop approved ballast water treatment technology. The first installation, dating back to 2008, remains operational to date and keeps the vessel in full compliance. Having sold several series of CleanBallast® systems with flow capacities from ranging from 350 to 3000 m³/h, the Bremen based company has accumulated extensive in-house experience and knowledge, allowing it to carry CleanBallast® into its second generation.


About RWO

RWO is the worldwide market leader in the treatment of marine oily water separation. For more than 45 years the RWO experts develop, design, manufacture and service high-quality technologies for water treatment onboard ships and offshore installations, both for new installations and retrofitting. The product portfolio includes the treatment of drinking and process water as well as pollution prevention equipment such as oily waters and wastewater as well as a comprehensive range of after sales services. The main office is located in Bremen, Germany while the international network comprises more than 40 qualified sales and service stations around the globe. RWO is part of the ERMA FIRST group headquartered in Athens, Greece. Since its establishment in 2007, ERMA FIRST has installed its ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) on more than 2,000 ships. Over the last 14 years, ERMA FIRST has set the standard for effective ballast water treatment with superior operational readiness, build quality and ease of use. ERMA FIRST is widely recognised as one of the top BWTS makers worldwide.


Lars Nupnau
Business Development & Marketing

Mobile: +49 (0) 151 125 59 213 / Fax: +49 (0) 421 53705-448


Gerold-Janssen-Straße 2 / 28359 Bremen, Germany

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