Responding to increasing international concern over the environmental impact of shipping, Erma First set out to create a reliable system for managing ballast water and created a product that exceeds standards and expectations. After all, coming from a country with a rich maritime tradition and an economy inextricably tied to its seas, the company can truly appreciate the importance of developing a superior product; if it’s good for the environment, it’s good for business.
Tiny Stowaways, Massive Costs
The spread of micro-organisms through ballast water can pose serious risks to public health, the environment and a range of industries, and has an economic impact that amounts to billions of dollars each year. With more than 80 percent of world commodities moved by shipping, the issue is garnering increasing international attention, leading to the development of mandatory international standards to regulate the problem.
Innovation from the Get-Go
Fast to respond, Erma First ESK Engineering Solutions became the first Greek company to design, certify and produce a reliable solution to the ballast water problem. Created by a team of scientists and engineers who specialize in waste and water treatment technologies for marine applications, the company was at the forefront of R&D and innovation from day one. Its flagship product, the Erma First Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS), addresses the growing need to control the spread of aquatic nuisance species.
With the company active in maritime and shipbuilding markets around the world, its BWTS is designed and built to the highest specifications, meeting and exceeding the International Maritime Organization’s standards for ballast water management. Using advanced technology and high-performance engineering, Erma First offers a modular, fully automated product that allows for flexible installation and retrofitting, performs reliably in all aquatic environments and poses zero risks to crew health and safety.
Number of Employees
Markets Where Erma First Is Active
Greece, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Norway, Turkey
Why Erma First is Successful
Key to the company’s success is the unique way in which it combined a number of leading water treatment technologies into a single, integrated system. Its flagship BWTS includes state-of-the-art bernoulli filters, cyclonic separators and advanced electrolytic cells, reliably eliminating organisms of all sizes and ensuring full compliance with the most stringent of regulations.
The Innovative Edge
Built around a team of engineers and focused on R&D, the company has come up with a unique solution for effectively treating ballast water in even the most challenging conditions. Where most systems fail to perform reliably under difficult water conditions—including excessive sediment, high turbidity and large amounts of organisms—the company’s innovative hydrocyclone design makes the Erma First BWTS dependable in even the harshest aquatic environment.
Due to its highly specialized product, Erma First faced a lack of local scientific expertise. The company reached out to foreign technological and scientific institutes and successfully completed all necessary testing and certification of its BWTS.
Goals for 2013
The company’s goal for 2013 is to further expand its expertise in constructing and installing ballast water treatment systems.
Erma First Is Currently Looking For
Erma First’s Patents
The company has been awarded a patent for its Integrated Ballast Water Treatment System by the Hellenic Industrial Property Organization.
Erma First has been awarded:
- Type Approval in accordance with IMO resolution MEPC.174(58) from the Greek Administration, and
- Class Type Approval in accordance with Lloyd’s Register Type Approval System, 2002.
- Alternate Management System (AMS) Acceptance granted by United States’ Coast Guard (U.S.C.G.)