Marine vessels are purchasing air and liquid flow control and treatment equipment at an accelerating rate due to new limits on both emissions to the atmosphere and to water, according to the latest McIlvaine Company report Air/Gas/Water/Fluid Treatment and Control: World Markets.

The U.S. EPA set standards for ballast water discharge in March 2013. The compliance date is 2016. This rule is just one of a number passed by various different governmental bodies around the world. McIlvaine says these rules will impact nearly 70,000 ships, which use international ports. The average cost of treatment systems to kill invasive organisms will range from as little as $300,000 to more than $3 million.

A number of companies are generating substantial revenues already in this market. Alfa Laval just announced a $50 million SEK order from a Korean ship builder. Severn Trent has now sold 18 systems. Calgon Carbon has emerged as a major participant in this market. More than 50 companies are selling treatment systems, according to the report.

This market is now the largest for the self-cleaning or automatic backwash type filters, which use disks or screens to achieve particle reduction to 50 microns. Calgon Carbon has signed a long-term agreement with Amiad to supply them with the Arkal type disc filters. These self-cleaning filters are used in irrigation, municipal water treatment, and even the purification of chocolate.

Another fast growing segment is the treatment of the stack gases from fuel burning. Wartsila and others are selling scrubber systems, which remove both particulate and SO2. NOx control systems are also being purchased for some vessels.

Cruise ships are opting for advanced treatment of sewage. Several membrane bioreactor (MBR) suppliers such as GE and Hamworthy (Wartsila) have been selling systems for ships since 2002. The market includes new ships but also retrofits. Hamworthy replaced an older sewage treatment system with an MBR on the Star Princess.

Pumps and valves are integral to the ballast water and sewage treatment. They are also needed for the stack gas scrubbing systems, engine lubrication and for cargo transport on tankers. A fast growing segment for pumps and valves is the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels.  Two hundred vessels are already in use for sub-sea oil and gas extraction. McIlvaine says the movement of the industry to deeper waters has accelerated the demand for a floating unit rather than one anchored to the seabed.

The market growth for controls and instrumentation for these processes is growing even faster than the hardware and there is a move toward smart valves, McIlvaine says. Metso has supplied its latest generation stainless steel valve controllers to the Norwegian Goliat Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) plant in the Barents Sea. The intelligent controllers are used on all pneumatic actuated control, on/off and ESD valves at the plant and help to monitor and report on valve performance for asset management purposes.

Suppliers are providing advanced control systems for all the flow processes. For the BP Angola FPSO, Yokogawa supplied an integrated control and safety system (ICSS). The ICSS provided  control and safety functions for the sub-sea, marine, hull and topside facilities of the FPSO vessel along with a single interface allowing operators to start, control and monitor all facilities from a central control room.

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