Under the auspices of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) UAE Branch, GEA, a leading system supplier of high-performance engine room equipment, sponsored an enriching knowledge sharing session focusing on their solutions range for treating fuel, lube oil and other liquids.
The event gathered 84 delegates from regional ship owners and managers, top management of suppliers and service companies, independent surveyors, classification society executives, inspectors from Flag Administrations and port officials from the Middle East.
In his opening speech, Nikeel Idnani, Honorary Secretary IMarEST UAE, highlighted the daunting challenges posed to the industry with the introduction of low Sulfur fuel conforming to IMO’s 2020 Sulfur Cap. He pointed out that fuel treatment efficiency and ship OpEx will come under further scrutiny. Ship managers must gain practical insights when specifying a new fuel oil treatment plant and/or modifying an existing installation.
Sven Mario Jadzinski, Head of Sales, GEA Westfalia Separator Group GmbH assured the anxious audience that ship operational issues caused by LSFO, crew and other factors can be mitigated by adopting new technology. He emphasized that the shipping industry is rapidly changing to meet the increasingly complex demands of global supply chains. Furthermore, there is a growing trend towards energy efficiency, risk management, automation and smart maintenance. As a long-term, reliable partner to the marine sector, GEA is supporting the industry in achieving these goals through separators which are designed for liquid-based applications. Sven initially dwelt on the separation principle i.e. centrifugal force used for separating suspensions consisting of two or more phases of different densities, i.e. they can be used for liquid-liquid separation, for liquid-liquid-solid separation or for liquid-solid separation. They are equally as effective at separating liquid mixtures at the same time as removing solids.
Sven reflected on GEA separators which have so far been available for maritime systems only in belt drive design. However, for future-proof separation technology GEA was eager to rethink marine separators and develop breakthrough technology including simplicity paired with reduction of OPEX. Commensurate with saving power and reduction of carbon footprint, GEA’s ‘New Marine Separator’ with integrated direct drive is the next generation in the separator construction process. It works without motor shaft, gear, belts, coupling and motor bearing. The smaller number of installed components not only improves the energy efficiency – they also reduce the maintenance costs, thus enhancing the uptime of the machine. The space requirement of the integrated direct drive is 50% lower than is the case with equivalent gear or flat belt machines.
Sven enlightened the ship managers present that GEA separators with integrated direct drive can be operated with infinitely variable bowl speed within a specific range without change in transmission ratio which is second to none. In addition, the maintenance process itself has been very much simplified. For instance, it is possible for the drive unit to be taken out of the separator frame only by loosening four bolts. The innovative design of the integrated direct drive also enables the motor to be replaced complete with the drive within only a few hours when maintenance work must be carried out – this is time which is very valuable, and which can be used productively elsewhere.
During the ensuing Q&A session, the cohort of industry stakeholders engaged in candid and critical conversations reflecting their concerns of the changing maritime landscape, with the subject matter expert.
The pro bono IMarEST meetings foster intimate and an engaging environment, one that offers a meaningful opportunity to reflect, interact, and learn. Transcending mere pedagogical deliberations, the evening concluded with generous prizes awarded at a business card raffle draw and a spread of contemporary international cuisine served at the rooftop of the Ramada Jumeirah hotel.