Interview to Steve Candito - Ecochlor: focus to offer simple, reliable, cost-effective BWMS all the way

With 20 years in the industry, Ecochlor has a long history of providing timely and expert support to their customers in keeping their ballast water management systems(BWMS) in compliance with regulations. They are not in this business for the short-term, their focus is to continue to offer shipowners the reliable performance of their system necessary for global shipping both now and in the future. During Xinde Marine News' interview with Steve Candito, the CEO of Ecochlor talks about the current situation and future trend of the BWMS market, how they influenced by Covid-19 and when will it end, and his advice to the industry for BWMS. Steve also introduces their next generation line of products, one of which does not require a filter - EcoOne™ [no-filter] BWMS. 
Xinde Marine News: Could you make a brief introduction to Ecochlor and your BWMS products?

Steve Candito: This year marks Ecochlor's 20th year in the ballast water management system (BWMS) marketplace. We have a long history of providing expert support to our customers. We aren't in this business for the short-term, our focus is to continue to offer shipowners a simple, reliable, cost-effective system that keeps their vessels in compliance both now and in the future.
Ecochlor has implemented a number of new advances in the Company over the past few years. We have improved the efficiency of our manufacturing processes and have expanded Ecochlor's product and services with other innovative maritime environmental business providers such that we are now viewed as more of "Green Marine" solutions company than simply a BWMS Maker. 
In April 2021, we announced the launch of EcoOne™, a revolutionary new no-filter BWMS. We have completed extensive land-based testing for EcoOne™ demonstrating compliance with the most recent, stringent USCG and IMO BWMS Code standards. We also completed testing for IMO BWMS Type Approval and are nearing completion of our USCG shipboard testing aboard an Aframax and a VLCC.
Today, as of September 2020, Ecochlor has approximately 360 ships in its order book with over 250 vessels currently running our system worldwide. Our customers include some of largest and most respected shipowners in the world ─ Anglo Eastern Ship Management, Angelicoussis Group, Alaska Tankers, Bahri Ship Management, Capital Ship Management, Doun Kisen Co., Ltd, Euronav Ship Management, Fuyo Kaiun Co., Idemitsu Tanker Co., JX Ocean Co., Liberty Marine, Maran Dry Management Inc and Maran Tankers, Minerva Marine, SCF Group, Seacor, and Scorpio Tankers – to name a few.
Xinde Marine News: What do you think of the current situation and future trend of the BWMS market? How Ecochlor responded to Covid-19? If have, when will such influence end as you think?
Steve Candito: At the start of the pandemic, we detected the changing business situation and took quick action to support both our clients and suppliers to minimize any impact to them as well as Ecochlor. More specifically, we were able to adjust delivery schedules to match our clients updated regulatory deadlines to eliminate or greatly reduce any impact from COVID.
Additionally, during the quarantine periods and travel restrictions, we increased our global service and spare parts network with local technicians who are able to support strategic localities faster. This enhancement allowed us to set up an even stronger, more robust supply and service network sooner than had been planned and we have been able to accelerate our expansion plans to both better service our clients as well as grow our business.
Xinde Marine News: What vessels choose to install your products and what’s the geographical distribution of your customers? How about Chinese market? Does Ecochlor have any plans for the future? 
Steve Candito: FluidTech Environmental & Equipment Technology, Co., Ltd, located in Shanghai, China is our long-time manufacturing partner; constructing our chemical storage tank assemblies as well as additional components for our BWMS.
A few years ago, we increased business development efforts in Asia by hiring experienced sales managers in South Korea, Japan and China. Additionally, we recently added a Regional Service Manager for Southeast Asian to handle our chemical storage capabilities, engineering support and spare parts network in order to offer more support to shipowners and shipyards in this critical location. 
Many of our BWMS have been installed in Chinese Shipyards ─ Changhong Shipyard, Chengxi Shipyard, COSCO [Guangzhou, Dalian, Shanghai, Zhoushan, Nantong], CVD Shipyard, Huarun Dadon Shipyard, IMC-XX shipyard, Ruitai Shipyard, Shanghaiguan Shipyard, Xynia Shipyard, and Yiu Lian Shipyards {Shekou, Zhoushan] ─ and we expect to further expand our business efforts with Chinese shipowners, yards and manufacturing partners in the future. 
Xinde Marine News: Ecochlor's BWMS uses a two-step treatment process to treat ballast water; filtration and chlorine dioxide, right? So, what advantages do you have compared to others?
Steve Candito: We recently launched our next generation line of products, one of which does not require a filter. The benefit of our EcoOne™ [no-filter] BWMS is that it is less costly, simpler to use and requires less maintenance – all without sacrificing Ecochlor's known high-quality, reliability and ‘best in class’ service standards.

Our powerful ClO2 treatment technology has been tested extensively to ensure that it works effectively as a single pass treatment under all operating conditions with no neutralization or retreatment prior to discharge. ClO2 primarily reacts with living organism, rather than reacting with any organic matter as other disinfectants like chlorine Due to its limited reaction with non-living organisms, ClO2 works exceptionally well in "dirty" water without large increases in ClO2 dose to ensure efficacy, unlike electro-chlorination (EC) or similar hypochlorite-based treatment technologies. This benefit results in very low power consumption and continued protection of tank coatings.
Plus, there are no problematic TRO sensors, electrodes or complex power supplies in either of the new EcoOne™ systems or the Ecochlor® BWMS. 
Our three product lines incorporate ClO2 technology in different ways to provide the shipowner flexibility regarding the installation and operation of their BWMS. They are as follows:
•Ecochlor® BWMS (Filtration & ClO2):  This system treats ballast water by filtering the water to 40 microns and then injecting a dose of 4.25 mg/L of ClO2. Vessels operating this system can operate anywhere in the world with no restrictions when it comes to temperature, salinity, or turbidity.
•EcoOne™ BWMS (ClO2 alone): This system treats ballast water by injecting a dose of 4.6 mg/L of ClO2.  Vessels operating this system can operate anywhere in marine and brackish waters (i.e., ≥ 1PSU) and with no restrictions on temperature or turbidity. 
•EcoOne™ Hybrid BWMS (Dual mode filtration & ClO2 or ClO2 alone): This system will allow shipowners to operate their BWMS either with or without a filter. This option will be suited for shipowners who wish to have the flexibility of unrestricted operation globally, with the convenience of a no-filter system. Vessels that already have an Ecochlor BWMS with filters installed can upgrade to the Hybrid option with minimal cost.
Xinde Marine News: What advice do you want to give to the vessels already installed the BWMS as well as those that didn't install BWMS?
Steve Candito: As the Experience-Building phase of the implementation of the BWM Convention winds down, we are seeing consolidation within the BWMS sector; some manufacturers are ceasing support of their systems or are not pursuing the latest regulatory compliance. Shipowners who have not yet installed their BWMS need to take these factors into consideration when choosing a system for their vessel or fleet to ensure they install a system from a Maker that is here to stay. Owners should also do the research to make sure that the system is reliable, easy for the crew to operate, has multiple training programs and a strong, global customer service program in place.
For those vessels that have a BWMS installed, I recommend that the crew take advantage of any training programs that the Maker has in place. BWMS that are more complex will obviously require more crew training. This training need is especially acute when performance is conditional on understanding the system's limitations in variable water conditions such as salinity, temperature, and turbidity.
Ecochlor's BWMSs are very simple to operate, but we still offer multiple training alternatives for the crew post-commissioning. While on board for our chemical resupply, we can provide shipboard training to any new crew members. This follow-on training helps to ensure continued safe and reliable operation of the BWMS for years to come. We also offer computer based training, which includes crew certification,  training at the shipowner's facility using a portable simulator, and some shipowners have taken advantage of our International Training Center in the United States.
Crew training will be especially critical when the system commissioning / efficacy testing becomes mandatory in July 2022. 
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Xinde Marine News.

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