BIODEGRADEABLE HYDRAULIC OIL FOR LIFT BARGES

Belgian heavy lift major Sarens is in the process of switching to biodegradable oil for all its ballasting systems on its barges.

As part of this important environmental initiative, all Sarens ballasting systems will convert to using Biohydran TMP hydraulic fluid in 2020, and 40% have already made the switch. This move represents Sarens’ commitment to protecting the environments in which it operates.

Oil is necessary for heavy lifting work where hydraulic systems are used to move heavy loads in an efficient way. The zinc added to commercial hydraulic oils, however, can cause environmental damage in the case of a malfunction or oil spill. This has serious implications for aquatic environments where barges operate.

Biodegradable oil replaces zinc with a natural additive to help maintain hydraulic components like motors and cylinders. This is important because Sarens uses submersible ballasting pumps with up to 1.000l/h pumping capacity to load out heavy modules. Because this system operates within water environments, using more environmentally-responsible oil creates an added layer of protection for fragile ecosystems and marine life.

Sarens has invested €500K in this important environmental project, which includes implementing the new hydraulic oil, regenerating it for reuse, and modifying older ballast pumps to avoid oil spills in the case of malfunction. As part of this initiative, Sarens is bringing all ballasting equipment, which is spread across Europe, back to its base in Wolvertem, Belgium to make the switch.

By Jake Frith

Source: Maritime Journal, Oct 20, 2020

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