Developing environmentally friendly technology for ship owners
Knutsen OAS Shipping has developed environmentally friendly technology for shipping companies that few others can match. The Haugesund firm is now hoping that the technology will breakthrough globally.
The shipping company, Knutsen OAS Shipping, in Haugseund, has roots dating back to 1896. With two newly developed technological solutions the company wishes to further strengthen its position in shipping.
"We are very proud of our two proprietary technologies, KVOC and KBAL. KVOC has already been installed on 45 vessels around the world. The ballast water technology is now being installed on several ships, but the demand will most likely wait until a requirement is put in place," says Lothe.
KVOC is technology the company developed in the early 2000s. Explained simply, the KVOC process prevents the formation of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the oil during loading and transportation.
"The funny thing is that the KVOC technology led to us coming up with our second proprietary product, KBAL, which cleans ships’ ballast water. Unlike other products on the market, we do not use filters or chemicals, but rather a pressure-vacuum reactor combined with UV radiation," explains Lothe.
"This method is environmentally friendly. And can be used in every type of seawater. The fact that we do not need large filters means that installation on ships is easier," he explains.
There is currently great uncertainty in regards to when IMO's Ballast Water Treatment convention shall be ratified. The United States has already made it a requirement to clean ballast water and, according Lothe, this is also being discussed by the EU.
"It may take up to two years before the convention will be finally ratified. When that happens, between 40,000 and 60,000 ships will need to fitted with ballast water treatement technology. We are not alone in providing technology for ballast water treatment, but getting a small share of this market will be very good for us," says the technology director.
The company will introduce both KVOC and KBAL at the Nor-Shipping exhibition. Based on Knutsen OAS Shipping’s new focus, it's hardly the last innovative technology we will see from them.
"Last year we created a separate department, Knutsen Technology; which created five jobs. As the technology gradually gains acceptance on the market, we plan to expand the department," says Lothe.
"The shipping companies have been through a very tough period, so investment in technology that is not yet a requirement will of course be pushed back. But environmentally friendly technology will eventually be a requirement and when that happens, we hope to be out in front of the competition, providing our services. We know that our technology is easy to operate and requires little maintenance. And as a shipping company, we know that this is a very important element in selecting equipment.