Photo: Damen

Damen gets funding to lease mobile BWTS in emerging markets

Climate Investor Two (CI2) has approved an investment that could amount to 24.5 million (about $29.3 million) to support the lease of Damen portable ballast water treatment (BWT) solution InvaSave to clients in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

CI2 is a financing facility mandated to invest in water, sanitation and ocean infrastructure projects in emerging economies.

It is supported by the EU and the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD). The consortium that manages the €160-million DFCD also includes World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF-NL), Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), and Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO.

Climate Fund Managers (CFM), the manager of CI2, as well as the DFCD, announced the signing of the development funding agreement of €2.8 million to finance the start of this project with Damen Financial Services, the newly founded department within Damen Shipyards Group.

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Viruses and bacteria

Specifically, the project focuses on the treatment of ballast water, which is taken on in great quantities by marine vessels to offset unloaded cargo or waste, before being discharged at the ship’s next port of call.

This discharge typically contains a multitude of viruses, bacteria, and other biological materials, including plants and animals collectively referred to as invasive species. The inadvertent release of non-native and nuisance species in ballast water has already triggered extensive ecological damage, with a knock-on effect on the economy and human health, Damen explained.

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) came into force in 2017, with the goal of ending the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another.

As of July 2020, 87 out of 217 countries have signed the higher standards and procedures for the management of ships’ ballast water, representing more than 80 per cent of the world’s merchant shipping tonnage.

Damen InvaSave

The Damen containerised ballast water treatment system InvaSave offers a port-based solution to ships ill-equipped to treat their ballast water or wishing to supplement their existing treatment capabilities to meet higher standards.

Photo: Damen

In addition, the system is currently the only one to be certified by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which is responsible for the implementation of the BWM convention. During the commercial phase, it is estimated that the systems will treat up to 36,000 m3 of ballast water per day.

“The Damen project represents an exciting opportunity to get ahead of the growing demand for ballast water treatment, whilst also contributing toward climate adaptation and preserving the future of marine ecosystems. In addition, we estimate this project to create 240 new jobs locally,” Tarun Brahma, CFMs Head of Investments, said.

“Thanks to the lease construction made possible through our partnership with Climate Investor Two, this eco-friendly solution will be within reach of many more companies and governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America,” Jan Willem van Helden, managing director Damen Financial Services, noted.