KBAL and Høglund join forces to offer shipowners ground-breaking ballast water technology on a superb automation platform


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Høglund provides customized automation & control system, ready to integrate into the vessel's IAS

The partnership started in the spring of 2020. KBALs innovative ballast water treatment technology had been in the game for 11 years by then, installed on vessels in the mother company Knutsen OAS Shipping. However, the company was searching for the right automation partner who could serve the vessels anywhere in the world with its worldwide presence and perform remote troubleshooting of the automation system.

The system philosophy is simple and yet brilliant. It is the first technology of its type, using neither filter nor chemicals. The technology consists of two treatment units; the patented Pressure Vacuum (PV) reactor and the Ultraviolet (UV) chamber. Untreated ballast water enters the PV reactor, where the organisms experience immediate pressure transition from 2barG to vacuum, which destroys all large organisms. The remaining smaller organisms such as algae and bacteria are eliminated in the UV chamber. Due to the compact nature of the treatment units, KBAL can treat 3000m3/h with a footprint of only 9 m2.

To support this technology, Høglund has developed software for control of pumps and valves, delivered on a dedicated, marine type-approved control cabinet. The whole ballast water operation is easily controlled from a single operator station and can be fully integrated into the vessel’s automation system.

Per default each delivered system also includes Høglund PLAYBACK, a must- have functionality for any operator, enabling them to go back in time and see all alarms and events as if it were live data.

“We have been searching for an automation partner, with global presence and expertise in marine system integration,” says Jorunn Seglem, KBAL CEO. “So far, our expectations have been fulfilled and we are very pleased with the collaboration. Høglund has a skilful, flexible, and proactive organization, making it easy to collaborate on finding the best solutions. Their global service network, and especially the ability to perform remote service is a very important factor for us, giving us the possibility to perform updates such as for the upcoming treatment mode One Pass, quickly without the need to travel onboard the vessel. Høglund Playback is another fantastic feature for troubleshooting and analysis.”

With Høglund Marine Solutions onboard as automation and control specialist, KBAL is now offering their ballast water technology - developed by shipowners- to quality conscious shipowners outside the Knutsen Group. With 4 completed installations and several ongoing projects on vessels owned by external shipowners KBAL has already started building experience outside of the Knutsen Group. A very exciting period lies ahead, and the prospects are good, with 4 successful retrofits, and2 new builds and 4 retrofits to be completed Q3/Q4 2022. In addition there are 11 ongoing projects for 2023-24. “Supported by Høglund engineering and service capacity, we are keen to reach out to shipowners across the globe looking for a filter -and chemical free system with few movable parts, that is fully automated, intuitive and easy to operate”, Jorunn Seglem tells.

Høglund’s Project Manager, Morten Madsen, reflects on the last couple of years and the total of 16 projects Høglund was contracted to deliver.

“Off course, this technology was new for us, but we quickly understood the process requirements and designed controls based on our own software platform to handle pumps and valves. KBAL is also working on an exciting development – a new treatment mode “one-pass” that, once approved, will reduce energy consumption and operating time of the treatment cycle by half”.


KBAL is wholly owned by TS Shipping Invest AS and is part of the leading shipping conglomerate Knutsen Group. The KBAL system has already been installed on 25 Knutsen vessels in addition to 4 vessels owned by external shipowners. The system is USCG/IMO type approved and compliant in all waters (marine, brackish and freshwater).

2 newbuild and 8 retrofit projects are on order for 2022.