Ballast tanks play a critical role in ship stability, but they also hide a significant environmental risk: they can unwittingly transport and propagate harmful aquatic organisms contained in ballast water. When a tank barge operator set out to mitigate this risk, they called on Glosten for a solution.
Up to the Challenge
Glosten was tasked with developing a ballast module retrofit design and integration program. With a fleet of barges to refit, the client required a standardized design to minimize unique integration features between different projects, and to reduce the total design effort and construction risk with each new barge retrofit. The Glosten team launched a nine-month development program with the client, Marine Systems, Inc. (MSI), and Alfa Laval to develop a standardized ballast water module. The module would need to account for unique operational restrictions of tank barges, including routine lay-up in freezing weather conditions. The result is a standardized module with identical controls and arrangement fleet wide.
A Standard Solution with a Practical Application
For the first tank barge, Glosten worked with the client to survey the barge and evaluate practical installation options. To maximize the survey’s utility, Glosten 3D laser-scanned the barge’s critical areas, while recording as-built information and interviewing the tug and barge crew on ballasting operations. Upon determining the most practical integration solution, Glosten provided a comprehensive retrofit design. The design was functional for regulatory submittals, shipyard bidding and selection, and production design guidance. Glosten is continuing to work with the client and MSI, the module provider, as the project moves towards construction.
A Clear and Clean Path Ahead
By working closely with MSI, the team was able to tightly control the interfaces between the module and barge systems of this first retrofit installation. Glosten delivered an integration design that was developed as part of a standard repeatable design process. The teams are experiencing the cost benefit of using a fleet approach with subsequent designs now underway.
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